January 26, 2023
More Belizean cattle to be exported to Mexico
More cattle from Belize are expected to be shipped to Mexico, following a revision to the original agreement signed between the Belize Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) with Mexico in July 2022, BBN reported.
According to the new agreement, MAFSE said Senasica, Mexico's Agricultural Health Authority, do not need to be notified when the cattle quarantine period officially begins by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). Up until now, Senasica required BAHA to provide them with information in order for them to schedule visits from their veterinarians in preparation for export shipments.
Servulo Baeza, chief executive officer of MAFSE, said Belize will gain about BZD 50 million (~US$24.9 million; BZD 1 = US$0.50) per year with the opening of the market.
Baeza said the change is the result of constant dialogue between the Belize Government, specifically the Ministry of Agriculture, and Mexican authorities, particularly following the 2022 visit by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and bilateral meetings between Belize Minister of Agriculture Jose Abelardo Mai and Mexico Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Dr Victor Manuel Villalobos Arambula.
Belize exported around 5,000 head of cattle for BZD 6.45 million (~US$3.2 million) to the SuKarne company in Mexico last year. However, exports to Guatemala have been far higher.
Baeza said MAFSE is now engaging with cattle stakeholders to develop a strategic export plan.
Belarmino Esquivel, MAFSE'S Principal Agriculture Officer and Livestock Director, said in July last year that the agreement will see more than 5,000 Belizean cattle producers export cattle to Mexico once they meet export requirements.
MAFSE said last year that a Senasica veterinarian had verified that the Belizean cattle met the export requirements, and that Senasica had handed over that role to the International Regional Organization for Plant and Animal Health (OIRSA), whose veterinarian would oversee inspection at the point of origin.
Esquivel said that this step would significantly reduce the expense of doing business with Mexico since a Senasica veterinarian would not have to go to Belize every time an export shipment is made. Each visit by a Senasica veterinarian incurs a fee.