Southern Tour - Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture Print E-mail
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Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture- Honorable  Gaspar Vega, Minister of State- Honorable Hugo Patt, Chief Executive Officers of the Ministry of  Natural Resources and Agriculture and senior officers of the Lands and Agriculture Departments  and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) toured the southern districts on April 1 and  2, 2014.

The Deputy Prime Minister and his team first met with members of the Board of the Citrus Growers Association to discuss the control of Citrus Greening  and the Certification of Citrus Nurseries. The meeting  concluded with an agreement to immediately convene  the task force that was set up to oversee the citrus  greening certification program. The BAHA will continue to play a central role in control of HLB and the certification of citrus nurseries. The team then travelled to the village of Trio to meet with the small farmers in that area to discuss the issue of land holdings. The Deputy Prime Minister committed to regularize landholdings by June of this year.

On Wednesday, the team toured the Agriculture Station at Eldridge Village, Toledo where the development of the station was observed. The Deputy Prime Minister also visited the Lands and Surveys Office and the BAHA station in Punta Gorda Town to meet with the district staff. The team paid a courtesy visit to the troops at the Tree Top Observation Post before travelling on to the proposed site of the Jalacte Agriculture Outreach station in the border Village of Jalacte, Toledo.

Eradication activities to control a Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) outbreak that occurred on February 14, 2014 are presently ongoing in the village of Jalacte. A quarantine checkpoint was set up on March 12, 2014 in the village of Pueblo Viejo to control the movement of illegal medfly host commodities. These activities are necessary to contain the medfly and prevent its movement further inland, which could jeopardize our medfly free status. All the activities are being coordinated by BAHA, MNRA, and USDA with assistance from the Police Department. The Ministry plans to conduct similar tours in the other districts as it continues to execute its mandate.