Juan Carlos Ordóñez, the Vice Minister of Agriculture, reported that Honduras reached that figure by the reopening of the U.S. market, and the exports to Mexico and the Central American markets, such as El Salvador.
According to Ordóñez, projections for 2011 and 2012 are positive, due in part to the the negotiation of a trade agreement with the European Union, where Honduras achieved an export quota of 2,500 tons of meat.
Furthermore, in the year just ending, Honduras stopped importing 30 percent of the meat for consumption, resulting in a savings of six million dollars “that remained in the country,” he said.
The meat industry has an economic and social impact on Honduras. Of the 100,000 farmers, 90 percent are small operations, which generates lots of jobs. It is similar to coffee production, where there is participation by many producers on a small scale, the official explained.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, meat production is responsible for providing roughly 300 thousand jobs to Hondurans.