AGRONoticias América Latina y el Caribe

Noticias: detalle

El ministro de agricultura se reunen con los productores de cebolla
Fecha de publicación:24/06/2011
País: Belice

The Ministry of Agriculture along with other stake holders held a planning session with onion farmers earlier this week. This is a follow through on a promise made by the Ministry to farmers to ensure that the past marketing problems are not repeated. Chief Agriculture Officer Eugene Waight told us of some of the issues discussed.

Eugene Waight- Chief Agriculture Officer
“The key ingredient was farmer organization.  We tried to instil in them, and this is not the first time we have done it, that if they are not organized then they are at the mercy of the middlemen that always tend to take advantage of the situation and offer them a very low price.  We looked at the production for the past 5 years and it has been averaging between 60 and 80 acres.  Last year they planted as much as 111 acres so that can tell you why we had some problems. When we looked at other data in particular to the districts, we saw only the Corozal District had in excess of 70 onion producers so farmer organization was key on the list.  We also looked at the Ministry providing updated technical assistance of which we have been training some of our officers they have been going to courses in Honduras and we have been compiling technical information that we have compiled over the years and some new ones from the Internet.  We have had a very close relationship with CARDI, CARDI have done a lot of work in onion production. We also looked at Marketing Board, Marketing Board was also there and we have recommended that they would not, because they usually bring their onions from Holland, for this season they would make their last order from Holland in December and any onion that is required between that time and local production will be bought from Mexico because you can always make a one week request from Mexico, as compared to Holland you have to make your request at least  four to six weeks before so hopefully that will avoid the issue with Marketing Board having onions there.  We also looked at the issue of storage.  Storage is a key component of this whole facility.  We told them that if they cannot store at least 30 to 50% of their production, it is wise for them to reduce the amount of onions they are producing because no market will absorb more than, for example right now we have about 60,000 tons is what is consumed locally.  If everybody plants at the same time and everybody comes into production at the same time we would probably get like a million pounds within a week or two.  We recommended to the credit institutions present that when they provide loans for the upcoming season, they should also insist to farmers that they should make a second loan just to look at storage facility.”

Waight said procedures are being put in place to ensure that the problems are addressed.

Eugene Waight- Chief Agriculture Officer
“We have also formed a task force of which we are leading, where we will be meeting regularly to ensure that even the planting is programmed and calendarised so that we don’t plant all the onions at one specific week, that it is staggered and probably encouraging them to plant different varieties including we have recommended to them the planting of small and medium sized onion because not many consumers want these huge onions that are on the market because people want to use an onion, if they have to save they save probably half for the other day but you don’t want to be saving an onion for a week.  There were several issues that we touched on and I think we are on a good start and we got a very good response from farmers.”

Other participants included representatives of the Taiwan Technical Mission, DFC, Pesticides Control Board, CARDI, UNDP, NCCARD and La Inmaculada and St Francis Xavier Credit Unions.

Palabras clave: cebolla, Ministerio de Agricultura, Belice
Publicado por: LoveFM