Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Mennonite rice farmer Peter Dyke.

Meeting between rice farmers and UDP government was not only a FLOP, but actually turned negative and accomplished nothing, but ill feelings. The government is not prepared to do anything. Just a blame game, and finger pointing excercise.


Former Rice Producer Accuses Ministry Of Agriculture Of Lying

Screen_shot_2011-12-05_at_6.21.52_PMAfter several stories aired by CTV3 News and other media houses, it seems that the cries of Rice Producers here in the North have finally reached the ears of those in charge of running the affairs of the country. CTV3 news understands that on Friday, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Rene Montero, met with Rice Producers of Blue Creek to discuss a way forward for the Rice Industry.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry late Friday evening, during the meeting, which took place in Belmopan, a commitment was made between Minister Montero and rice producers to work together in order to find solutions that will enable the industry to remain sustainable.

Sounds like progress right? But according to one rice producer who attended the meeting out of pure curiosity because he is no longer interested in continuing in the rice business, what the press release is saying is a bunch of lies.

Peter Dyck - Former Rice Producer

“That meeting was not very fruit full; I must tell you the truth but rather was very discouraging, the meeting with the minister of agriculture as he was putting the full blame on the rice farmers and especially the farmers of Blue Creek and so the meeting was not fruit bearing of any kind.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Now, Peter the minister is saying in a Press Release that the rice producers and the government made a commitment that they will work together in order for the rice industry to survive.”

Peter Dyck - Former Rice Producer

“I think but as far as the truth as he could get by saying that because the meeting didn’t start off very good within spending a good amount of time blaming that we were the bad people, we were causing all the trouble and we have to stop the people from lies and this is the kind of rhetoric that we were hearing there for just about ten minutes and then the discussion continues for a while and then he start again with this blame game and so I stood off and walked out of the meeting because I wasn’t prepared to sit down to him and talk being the righteous person in this issue.”

As you heard, Dyck walked out of the meeting, but he did speak to other rice producers after the meeting culminated. The news however, was not good.

Peter Dyck - Former Rice Producer

“Yes I did speak to the other rice producers that went through the whole meeting and what they told me is that really nothing was achieved at that meeting except that the minister promised them, the rice farmer are my buddies but am I heard promises from three years ago and now it is four and I just don’t think that anything will be adhere to.”

Carmelita Perez-Reporter

“Why is it that you decided to attend the meeting and you had already indicated that you are no longer being in the industry anymore?”

Peter Dyck - Former Rice Producer

“It was not a decision on attending the meeting it was more bullying of the minister of agriculture to us I just decided to walk in and to see what the reaction would be because I have not spoken to him for quite some time.”

CTV3 News understands that another meeting between rice producers and Government has been scheduled for December 16th.

CTV3 news quotes

“The PUP is of the firm belief that the steep decrease in sales is a direct result of the unsound marketing policies and unfair marketing practices implemented by the Government’s Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC) and of the actions by the Minister of Agriculture, Rene Montero, and his CEO, Gabino Canto.” end of quote.

The press release further states and we quote “The PUP reminds the Government of Belize that similar policy implementation in April of 2011 led to the loss of millions of pounds of onions and hundreds of thousands of dollars to hard working onion producers in the North. Although the Minister of Agriculture promised compensation to farmers, to date, less than $3000.00 of technical assistance has been given by the ministry to farmers who lost more than a million dollars of produce.” close quote.

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