Broccoli and cauliflower are among commodities that can only be produced economically within Belize for a limited period every year. The average weekly market demand for cauliflower is 8,000 lbs. and 6,000 lbs. for broccoli. To meet local market demand, a total of 10 acres were planted of each commodity following a calendared planting schedule.
The Ministry of Agriculture provides technical guidance to ensure farmers follow appropriate agronomic practices with the objective for farmers to consistently produce the quantities and quality of these vegetables to meet consumer preference. The production and supply of broccoli and cauliflower have decreased by at least 50% as the season comes to a close.
The Ministry of Agriculture is tasked with promoting and advocating for local production and marketing. It makes every effort to create the enabling environment for local production to have accessibility to the domestic market. Considering that the supply is at 50%, the Ministry in consultation with the vegetable producers agreed for the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC) to meet the other half of the demand through importation. BMDC, however, will prioritize and coordinate the marketing of local production and only make provisions to import the difference to meet the entire local demand.
The main objective is for farmers to sell all their local production while achieving consistent supply of weekly demand for broccoli and cauliflower in the entire country. This decision will be in effect for the next two weeks when all local production is expected to be successfully marketed. The production season is also expected to end at that time.
The recommendation to activate the importation of these vegetables via local importers is expected to be re-instituted on the 25th of March 2019.
For further information please contact: Mr. Andrew Harrison, Chief Agriculture Officer at 822-2242.