The Citrus Growers Association (CGA) in Belize has explained in detail all the challenges the nation’s citrus industry has faced in recent years, but also highlights the great effort that has gone into ensuring a rebound.
The Statistical Institute of Belize has been consistently recording the citrus decline as shared in their periodical trade reports. Just in March this year, Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, reported at a press conference that citrus exports have taken “an unfortunate turn.” She detailed that “after a long, drawn-out battle with disease and, of late, labour challenges and the significant input cost of fuel and fertilizers, orange and grapefruit concentrate export earnings went from $143 million in 2012 to $27 million in 2022.”
CGA has emphasized that the Belize citrus industry ‘has with sturdy resilience served our country for more than 100 years’. CGA then proceeded to explain in detail the hardships the industry has endured since it peaked in 2008 with those 8 million boxes of production from 65,000 acres of citrus groves.
Looking to the future, CGA says recent government support measures it deems as progressive and timely “will immediately return the industry to a state of renewed confidence and sustainability that will provide for the wellbeing of our communities including farmers, employees, and the country at large, guaranteeing the future of our industry for another 100 years and beyond.”