Friday, January 7, 2011

BELIZE - to shift from citrus to other fruit crops!

We call the citrus factory the citrus factory.
That name may be now misleading under the new factory construction setup. The new factory produces juices and can produce guava juice, tamarind juice, mango juice, coconut water, pineapple juice, papaya juice and other fruit products of Belize, for which there is a ready market. Both local markets and foreign markets. We are importing these other fruit juices that we actually grow in Belize from places like Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. This makes little sense with the new capability of this processing fruit, packing factory, calling it the citrus factory. It is much more than that. Diversification is key to long term success in this fruit juice business.
Indeed, with the worry over citrus greening, it seems likely that it would behoove new orchards to be planted in quantity, for assorted other fruit trees now that Banks Holdings has built this multi faceted juice producing factory. We need some guidance and studies here from the Central Farm Agriculture Research Unit advising on the profit margins for planters and producers of alternative fruit crops.
One burning question now, is the ownership of the debt and the shares in the new juice factory, which may even turn into a new pineapple, banana and papaya juice factory. Since most of the membership are leaving the old Citrus Growers Association, and if citrus greening is hazarding the ability of the old citrus growers to make money, just maybe they should be planting papaya and pineapple? I know too little about the industry to judge, and await the pamplets on this subject from the government Agriculture Research Department.

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