On October 10, 2018, Belize officials participated in the 5th meeting of the Multilateral Fruit Fly Commission held in Mexico City. Attending were Jose Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Emir Cruz, Managing Director of Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and Medfly Coordinator Hernan Zetina.
During the meeting, the Fruit Fly Control Cooperative agreement was signed between the United States Department of Agriculture, the Ministry of Agriculture, and BAHA. Dr. Mike Watson, Administrative Assistant of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), signed on behalf of the USDA. Jose Alpuche signed for Belize.
The Cooperative agreement is negotiated and signed annually to protect agriculture in Belize and the United States. This joint effort includes the control and eradication of the medfly and the management of an exotic fruit fly surveillance program.
The USDA has committed $ 115,000 for fiscal year 2018-19, while the Government of Belize has committed $ 282,614 in counterpart funding.
The USDA contribution is used specifically for medfly eradication activities and for the procurement of equipment, materials, and supplies while the Government of Belize contribution is for salaries and operational expenses for the medfly programme.
Breaking Belize News reported on BAHA thanking both the United States Government and the Government of Belize for their continued support to the medfly programme and for helping to keep Belize medfly free.