More Medfly Support from USDA Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:00

Signing of Cooperative AgreementOn Monday, August 12th, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, and Under Secretary of the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programmes, Edward Avalos, signed a Cooperative Agreement to formalize assistance and interchange of technology between Belize and the U.S. The Agreement will see the Ministry of Agriculture, specifically the Medfly program receive technical assistance as well as trapping material and specialized spraying equipment for the control of the Medfly.

The USDA invests some 175 thousand U.S. dollars annually for the control of the Medfly with the Government of Belize, investing counterpart funding of around 300 thousand dollars to cover operational expenses in surveillance and eradication programs.

Currently the southern part of the country is under quarantine as there has been 115 medflies detected in areas including Placencia, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. That quarantine remains in effect and BAHA personnel are expected to maintain the quarantine through checkpoints up until September of this year. There are plans to put in place infrastructure at the Jalacte border crossing to particularly enforce the illegal importation of fruits that are hosts for the Mediterranean Fruit Fly.

Belize is currently hosting the X Undersecretary and Vice-ministers of Agriculture meeting on August 12-14, 2013. This meeting is held annually between Guatemala, the United States, Mexico and Belize with the objective of reviewing and approving the operational and financial work plans of the Regional Mediterranean Fruit Fly Program.