Country Report Belize October 1996 Main report

Economy: Overproduction in the banana sector

Heavy investments over the last two years by banana growers--helped by an EU grant of US$2.8m (2nd quarter 1996)--have resulted in substantial improvements in production. Export quotas, however, have remained static, leading Belize to produce for the first time a surplus for which it has no market. Some 27,000 boxes at a quota value of US$270,000 were recently left at port, and there are three more months of harvesting to go. The domestic market can absorb no more than a small part of the surplus, and the Banana Growers' Association has begun to lobby European officials for an increase in the Belize quota. Should these negotiations fail, the banana sector will face severe difficulties.

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