Belize: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise of Belize through the Agricultural Subproject will be releasing phase two of its relief for registered farmers who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2019 drought.
The Agricultural Subproject is a part of the Contingent Emergency Response Component (CERC) of the Belize Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project (BCRIP). It is a BZ$16 million project financed by the Government of Belize and the World Bank.
The three major components under this phase are Market Contraction, Drought Relief and Post-harvest Management. Farmers who are eligible for phase two components are as follows:
1. Market Contraction: Farmers across the country who registered in the Belize Agriculture Information Management System (BAIMS) from June 2018 to April 2020 and who produced commercial poultry, dairy cattle, pig, sheep, shrimp, pulses, grains such as yellow and white corn, beans (red kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans), and rice qualify for this support. Only farmers from the Stann Creek and Toledo districts will receive assistance for produce such as cabbages, melons, onions, potatoes, sweet peppers, sweet corn and tomatoes under market contraction assistance.
2. Drought Relief: Farmers operating in Cayo, Belize, Orange Walk, and Corozal districts registered in BAIMS from June 2018 to April 2020, who produced sugar cane and vegetables such as cabbages, onions, potatoes, sweet peppers, and tomatoes qualify for this support.
3. Post-harvest Management: Vegetable producers and agricultural cooperatives involved in the consolidation, packing, and distribution of products registered in BAIMS qualify for this support.
The disbursement process for phase two will be via a voucher system. Each farmer will be issued a voucher that is redeemable at pre-selected suppliers. The voucher includes a list of eligible items and the compensation value for each farmer. The voucher is not redeemable for cash.
Disbursement for phase two will take place between February and June 2021. Farmers are to provide proof of identity and an active contact number when visiting the Ministry of Agriculture offices. Please also adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.
Ramanjot Kaur is a dedicated journalist with a Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communication, specializing in economic and political news reporting with incisive analysis and integrity.