Friday, July 12, 2024

Government of Belize Receives an Extensive Profile to Transform its Food Systems

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The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise is now poised to transform its food systems using an evidence-based and extensive assessment completed earlier this year.
The Belize Food Systems Profile: Catalysing the Sustainable and Inclusive Transformation of Food Systems document was formally handed over to the Government of Belize during a ceremony at the Yo Creek Agriculture Station on June 22, 2022.
Honourable Jose Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise was presented the document by Dr. Crispim Moreira, Representative for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for Belize, during his weeklong visit to the country.
Minister Mai remarked that the food systems assessment was very revealing, especially the fact that Belize imports 40% of its food. He highlighted that while the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the country, the agriculture sector rebounded with a 24% increase in production that contributed to marked improvements in GDP in one year. Despite this, the food systems profile shows that there is still much more to be done. He concluded that the food system cuts across different ministries and departments and everybody has to play their role. The revealing information from the assessment sets the pace for Belize to focus on what needs to be done over the coming years.
The Food Systems Profile is to be used to advance national dialogue on food systems and feed into policies, plans and programmes to enable more resilient and sustainable food systems development in Belize.
Dr. Moreira remarked during the handover ceremony that, Belize was one of 50 countries of the world that had completed the Food Systems Assessment and that it could be used to increase investment to transform the country’s food systems. He added that many of the challenges faced with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals were linked to the food system and that Belize could become an example of how other areas of life could be positively impacted by transforming the country’s food systems.
The Food Systems Profile is the result of months of extensive research, interviews and consultations with various stakeholders across sectors in Belize. It was funded through a partnership with the European Union, FAO, and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). Development of the assessment was also supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise and the National Food and NutritionnSecurity Commission.
The profile is expected to be an impactful stepping stone for the transformation of Belize’s food system towards a more inclusive and sustainable path. The document can be downloaded at https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cc0072en

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