Consultations held to advance Belizean products and services through tourism

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation and Agriculture (IICA) is partnering with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture to host meaningful consultations to development a strategy for advancement of Belizean products and services through the tourism industry. Stakeholders met on Friday at Biltmore in Belize City,  where they engaged in meaningful conversations.

Staret Green is the Ambassador for the OAS. He told us more.

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 vlcsnap-2015-01-24-06h33m11s183Staret Green – Ambassador from the OAS

“We’re here today to partner with IICA, the Director Jean Lowry, as we move together to consult with stakeholders in both the Tourism and Agricultural Sectors, to ask specific questions, and to focus on ways and means by which we can strengthen both sectors as far as their growth and development are concerned.”

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Another key focus of the discussion was the involvement of more women and youth in the sectors of agriculture and tourism. IICA representative Jean Lowry explained.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-24-07h45m01s84Jean Lowry – IICA Representative

“We also have this need for including youth and women in what we are doing.  I think agro-processing in particular provides a lot of opportunities, really good opportunities, for youth and women.

As a starting point, we felt that, rather than just sitting around the board room and talking to ourselves, that it would make a whole lot of sense to bring in the people who are doing the buying, the people who are actually in the Hospitality Industry and the Tourism Industry, bring in the Ministry people who know what’s going on, in terms of the export market and what’s being produced, and get everybody just to help us focus where we should go.”

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 Staret Green

“We’re trying today with IICA, working with Jean, to get young people excited about what they can accomplish, about what they can do, and about their role, that agriculture is not demeaning.  It’s the means by which we eat.  If there is no food in the supermarket, then what is going to happen?   We might all perish.

So we believe, starting now,  to bring young people into this sector is the way forward indeed.”

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Thursday’s workshop was not the last. Further conferences are expected to be organized.
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