Title: Belize ag report
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094064/00007
 Material Information
Title: Belize ag report
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Belize Ag Report, Beth Roberson
Place of Publication: San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
Publication Date: June 2010
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094064
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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The Belize Ag Report

Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication


[une-July


2010


ROC(Taiwan) Technical Mission in Belize
Rice Field Day Article page 12, Photo Gallery on
the ICDF Tab at www.BelizeAgReport.com


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harvesting Ag Se.

From All of Bel.e

Cattle Prices Down $300 per Head
from 2 Years Ago

Cattle raisers are worried, concerned and upset that prices
have declined from $1.30/lb. two years ago to$.95 today
(for better quality looo lb steers and heifers). Now those
cattle are selling for mostly .90 to .95 cents. Fat cows
were .90 cents to $1 and now are at $.65 to .75 Thin cull
type cows are at almost give-away prices. A looo lb animal
at .30 cents a pound less, results in a $300 per head gross
reduction. In many cases that changes a producer's situation
from a profit to a loss.
BLPA is being pressured by cattle raisers from all
over as to where is that Mexican market opportunity
that we have been hearing about. Some reported that
they heard it would happen in November of 2009. Then new
reports indicated March or April 2010 and now there are
some reports that it may not happen this year- 2010 ....


Continues page 24


NATIONAL SURVEY OF SMALL SCALE
AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN BELIZE
Submitted by: Belize Fisheries Department
Summary
Over the past two years, given the various initiatives by the
GOB and the private sector to further develop small scale
aquaculture in Belize, the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries
engaged the Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Unit of the
Belize Fisheries Department to conduct a 'National Survey of
Small-scale Aquaculture Development in Belize' in July
2009. The outputs of this survey were envisioned to serve as
the basis of developing a planned approach for the
sustainable development of the sector.


Continues page 25


June-July 200o BelizeAgReport.com 1 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


















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June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 2 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize








TO BE BETTER AT WHAT WE DO
By Richard Merrill

'Agriculture has a key role to play in the development of the
country and given the limited resources that we have, there has
to be this constant effort to be better at what we do.' Marion
Palacio, Deputy Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance,
speaking March 19th, 2010, at the 2010 Annual General
Meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Official meetings always have themes, and many times there
are also unofficial themes that circulate just below the surface,
breaking out from time to time in the words of the presenters.
Marion Palacio's call for those present to be 'better at what we
do' echoed one of those undercurrent themes at this year's
Annual General Meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries. There is no money to waste on bad ideas. Getting
better means getting a dollar's worth of good from a dollar
spent. That's true for government ministries and it's true for
the farmer and for the businessman. All of us should put forth
a constant effort to be better. Policies and projects that lead
nowhere have to be abandoned. Old habits of talking problems
to death in a conference room instead of finding solutions in
the field have to be changed.

In her AGM presentation on the Horizon 2030 project, Dr.
Carla Bartnett said that people in rural communities complain
that when development projects are announced for their
community they have to tell the same thing over and over as
NGO and Government representatives come to see them, one
by one. Get everybody around the same table, they say, and
we'll tell our story one time. That would mean getting different


government ministries and NGO's working together, sharing
resources, sharing responsibility, sharing the credit when a
project works, but also sharing the blame when it goes wrong.

According to Dr. Barnett, farmers specifically have named
Agriculture, Education, and Health as ministries that ought to
be working together. If a level of meaningful co-operation can
be achieved, certainly it would be one effort aimed at being
'better at what we do'. And that co-operation would have to be
in the field, not in a conference room or somewhere with the
minutes of the meeting filed away with a notation that the
problem has been solved.

In his AGM presentation, Mr.Jose Alpuche of the Belize Agro
Productive Sector pointed to another way we can do better,
and that is by setting the right kind of standards that will
protect both the farmer and the consumer. Mr. Alpuche used
the example of rice. He said that a blanket price control gives
the farmer no incentive to produce higher quality because he
can't go to the store and demand a higher price. Yet, he said,
we have Goya rice coming in from Miami being sold for six
dollars a pound because it's in a box and has a little bit of
flavouring. Mr. Alpuche said we need to use the tool of
standards to provide the social safety net for consumers while
allowing farmers to get a higher price for their better quality
produce. Quality standards provide another way to be 'better at
what we do'.

Note: A native of Mississippi, Richard Merrill arrived in Belize
in 1995 after 35 years in journalism in the U.S.A. He was LOVE
FM's News Editor from 1995-2009. Now retired, his passion
remains writing.


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BelizeAgReport.com 3 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


1


June-July 2olo







FROM Tte eDITOR

A country is somewhat like a business there are things
which one may like to do; nevertheless, periodically one must
review goals, actions, progress, and financial realities- and
then coordinate redirection and rededication to meet expec-
tations.

Agriculture, has been described as' the twin pillar which is
[more] under our control [than tourism]' by Beltraide's Ms.
Beverly Burke (NATS 2010). Ambassador Adelbert Tucker
stated (Oct. 2009), "Belize must grow itself out of the reces-
sion." Farmers and agribusiness people want to meet this
challenge. Farming historically not being one of the most
lucrative professions, however it is one upon which each of us
is vitally dependent (requiring food). In Belize farming must
become 'good business' in order for it to continue, expand
to meet domestic needs, and GOB's growing export expecta-
tions. Our neighbors, in both CARICOM and Central Amer-
ica and, yes, worldwide (see Bel-Car article page 15) increas-
ingly gaze towards Belize, with arable land and water avail-
able to quadruple food outputs and be a regional breadbas-
ket. Belize can and wants to meet those expectations.

Our international friends with expertise and budgets to assist
us in developing our agricultural products and their export-
ability, are 'wanting to assist us, willing to assist us, and wait-
ing to assist us...' (to borrow from Pygmalian). In some cases,
they are also wanting, willing and waiting to purchase some
of the resultant production. The GOB has been tasked to
work on behalf of the Belizean producers who, in some sectors
are wanting, willing, and waiting for GOB to finalize neces-
sary paperwork for this to be proceed. As international phy-
tosanitary and traceability paperwork can be done only by
GOB and its subgroups, the Belizean producer is dependent
upon, even more than in the past, to the goodwill and coop-
eration of GOB/MAF/BAHA, etc.

The ag sector acknowledges and appreciates that the workload
of GOB has expanded, as they are required to perform many
more ponderous health and certifying roles and even legisla-
tive roles, in addition to the marketing assistance that large
and small producers are requesting and expecting. We thank
and salute the hardworking GOB employees, meeting atten-
dees, letter writers, general facilitators, and legislators within
government who work long hours to accomplish this. How-
ever, some of the processes, without which the private sector
cannot move forward, and with which GOB has been tasked,
are behind schedule. Some private sectors, (upon whom GOB
must depend as the private ag sector must fulfill the actual
production role of the 'twin pillar'), feel frustrated. Belize re-
quires the agribusiness community to discern that it is good
business for growth and investments in ag businesses in Be-
lize. Productive sector and GOB, to function well and at low
stress, must have harmonious relationship. Then business and
the country at large will thrive.

Might GOB reexamine budgetary allocations for agriculture,
and reconsider that they be made proportionate to the expec-

Mission Statement:

The Belize Ag Report is an independent bi- monthly agriculture
newsletter. Our purpose is to collect, edit and disseminate infor-
mation useful to the Belizean producer, large or small. We invite
opinions on issues, which are not necessarily our own. BelizeAg
neither solicits nor accepts political ads.


tations from this 'pillar'? Roughly 25 years ago, Agriculture
received approximately 25% of the budget; current proposal
for Agriculture? 1.4 % (that's one point four tenths percent).
Even that small percentage is an increase from 2006's paltry
1.1% (one point one tenth percent). Is 1.4 % enough to sup-
port a GDP structural pillar that we expect to cover half of
our GDP is this logical? We can effect tourism growth, but
we cannot 'control' it in the same way that we hold the reins to
the cart of agriculture growth in Belize.

Our international contributors might well wonder "Why can't
we move more quickly to accept some the assistances they gen-
erously offer us?" The lightning speed with which GOB acted
with regard to BTL last year, showed what can happen when
priorities are made. The ag sector certainly does not request or
expect such expedited actions. But, if agriculture is to be one-
half of our GDP, then we must reexamine what level of inputs
we are all applying to this 'pillar' both in budget, and in man-
power energy.
First Year Anniversary

Just over one year ago, this paper was created to address both
the lack of agriculture news in Belize, and the lack of a voice of
the agricultural producer in Belize. As we enter our second
year of publication we at The Belize Ag Report look forward to
reporting on the progress of the exciting facets of agricultural
improvements, innovations and expansions, locally and re-
gionally. We invite you, producer and reader alike, to share
your ideas for what you would like the newsletter to be. We
are all ears. We express our appreciation to all our advertisers,
readers, contributing writers, and contributing news sources.
It is our privilege to be working with you all.


Belize Ag Report, P.O. Box 150, San Ignacio, Cayo,
Belize, Central America

Phone: 663-6777 & 664- 7272

Editor: Beth Roberson
Assistant Editor: John Carr

Special Editor: Dottie Feucht
Technical Manager: Jane Beard
Submissions as follows:

Ads: ads@belizeagreport.com
Letters to the Editor: editor@belizeagreport.com
Deadline date-l2th of month prior to printing
Printed by BRC Printing, Benque Viejo, Cayo, Belize

Distributed in Belize; Peten, Guatemala & So. Mexico

Subscription information

Belize Addresses: 6 issues (one year) $24 Bze.

Receive your newsletter in a flat envelope by first class
mail.

Kindly send check to Belize Ag Report

P.O. Box 150, San Ignacio, Belize

Please call or email for rates to other countries.


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 4 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







TO THE EDITOR Belize Chess Players Go International


BELIZE AG REPORT REUNITES OLD FRIENDS
Dear Beth,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply with the fantastic news
that my search for my long lost friend was over. Peter and I
started at Junior school together in 1959 went our separate
ways for high school and then met up again at Gwebi Agricul-
tural College. In the course of our second year Pete and I were
room mates and then of out into the big wide world. Pete dis-
appeared and then there was only the occasional snippet of
news of what had happened to Pete.
The power of the internet is really incredible as it must have
been within 10 minutes of beginning my search that I had been
directed to your newsletter with the article by Pete on sheep
farming,
It is absolutely amazing where the valuable resource of the
Zimbabwe- Rhodesian farming community have ended up
with the calamity of what has happened to commercial agricul-
ture in Zimbabwe.

CHEERS, TIM SAVORY, Zimbabwe

note: 'Pete' is none other than contributor Peter
Margesson.

Letter to Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries
Honorable Mr Montero,

I have a big concern regarding the Agriculture Show in Belmo-
pan this year. We are only small time farmers but this show is
our high light of the year and we look forward to it very much.
But for the past 2 or 3 years we notice that it has lost Agricul-
ture and adopted 'Saturday market day'. The noise is outra-
geous and most livestock is very sensitive to it. I have talked
to other farmers and they have voiced the same concern. This
year we were very disappointed to see that only a few livestock
showed up and most were Central Farm's. Is there any way
that you could look into this great concern and see if the Agri-
culture show could be taken back to where it was in the old
days of August so our animals can perform the way they are
meant to? Also August would be a cooler month for them.
Please separate the Agriculture show from the noise.

Thank you very much.

Deidre Lotiff


CONCERN FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING CONTRACTS
Dear Editor,

I am very concerned about the new leases for oil exploration
offshore of Belize. Quintana Roo used to have strong spiny
lobster business, and now it is finished, due to pollution.
Please ask our representatives to review this decision. We can-
not afford to risk the cleanliness of our seas, upon which we
depend so much. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Julio Garcia


The Belize Ag Report salutes the Belizean chess players who were
selected to represent Belize at two tournaments. In early May the
Belize team competed with players from Guatemala, Nicaragua
and Honduras. On May 21 24, 12 chess players selected from
nominees from each district competed in a tournament in Me-
rida with Mexico's players. You can see pictures and a report of


these events at


www.belizechessnews.blogspot.com


Dear Editor,

I was amazed to hear our Prime Minister in a radio broadcast
say "if you are not making $10 per day you are poor ". Yes, if
you use money as a measure but we have plenty of natural
resources. I live growing my own produce, fishing and har-
vesting and consider myself rich.

We should never identify ourselves with being poor. We need
to seek and educate ourselves, think for ourselves and be more
self sufficient. We should expand our creativity and not rely on
others.

Use your talents and celebrate that we live in a land of freedom
and opportunity. Consider how rare this is in the world today.

Gordon Zuniga
Punta Gorda

AGRICULTURE IN THE NATIONAL BUDGET

Belize is beginning to develop more trade arrangements and
information exchange with neighboring countries for agricul-
tural products. The resulting revenue to the GOB will go to the
General Consolidated Fund that can provide more goods and
services to all Belizeans. But the Ministry of Agriculture and
Fisheries (MAF) is currently underfunded from the total
budget to meet the increased need for financial resources to
pursue these new opportunities. For example of the $10.2 mil-
lion allocated to the MAF from the 2010/2011 budget for re-
current expenditure, 66% is for employee compensation which
leaves only 34% to support 9,697 farmers (2001) in the entire
country.

Government of Belize's National Expenditure on Agriculture
2000/2001 2010/2011

Expenditure on Agriculture by GOB
3.0
2.5
2.2 .J 2.2
2.0o
1-7 7 1.8
(6) 1.5 4 ..- 1.4
1.0 ,1 1.1
0.5
0.0



(YEARS)
-*-RE as a % of Total Budget -*-RE + Cap II as a % of Total Budget


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 5 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Belize Chess Players Go International


TO THE EDITOR







Organic Production
Learning to Love Weeds...

By Greg Clark


Well, not really, but learning to live with them is much easier. The
climate of Belize is excellent for growing, all growing, including
weeds. Turn your back on a freshly tilled spot, and all of a sudden it
has transformed. The abundance of weed seeds that are contained
within the ground are brought to the surface every time a tillage opera-
tion occurs. With the addition of sunlight and moisture, the seeds ex-
plode into growth. The weed seeds' prolific growth ability over the
planted crop is due to the seed "being at home." The weeds have been
in the present environment for thousands of years, and have completed
total adaptation to the highest level of productivity that is achiev-
able. Bringing in a crop to compete with this champion requires assist-
ing the crop to overcome the local champion. In the organics world,
the best method of facing the champion is mechanical removal prior to
the seed production of the weed. Yes, this is labor intensive, but with a
policy of least soil disturbance, the weed population will decrease over
time. Least soil disturbance can best be described as: once beds are
built to plant the crop, only add to the beds; don't till up more weed
seeds. Mulch and compost are the best items to add to the beds for
weed barrier properties and moisture retention for the soil. As the
mulch decomposes, it adds biomass to the soil. This allows for pockets
of the soil to breathe and allow for drainage within the soil. The pock-
ets allow for the roots to expand throughout the soil bed and prevent a
packed soil, which roots have to "expend a lot of energy" to pene-
trate. The compost added to the top of the beds allows moisture to
leach through the compost and pick up nutrients for the root system of
the crop. This is like a mini compost tea process local to the plant,
without carrying a sprayer or bucket throughout the field, and expend-
ing more labor.

Now, back to taking care of the weeds. When weeds are removed
in a field, collect them up and add them to the compost pile. The weeds
have removed nutrients and fertility items from the soils that are des-
tined to grow the crop. Take back those nutrients and fertility items
with the use of a compost process. During the process, the nutrients
and fertility items are transferred to the compost. When the compost is
completed, return it to the beds as a weed barrier mulch and fertility
amendment. The weeds then become "their own worst enemies".

To briefly touch on the composting process, build a pile that con-
tains one part green material (containing nitrogen) to three parts brown
material (containing carbon). I recommend layering the two compo-
nents with a small amount of water added at each layer. The pile
should be built to about 3 to 4 feet high and will begin the process of
heating up within 24 hours. This process is educed by the microbes
breaking down the pile and consuming the material. Note: If the pile
begins to smell like ammonia, it is too wet and needs to be turned and
no more water added until smell goes away. The pile should be turned
every 3 days (adds oxygen) and steam will escape from the inside of
the pile while turning. This is a good sign as to the current consump-
tion of those nasty weeds. The pile normally heats up to 160 deg F,
which kills and sterilizes any weed seeds introduced to the pile. After a
period of time the pile will be decreased in size and no longer hot, the
indication that the compost is complete.


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________________________________________________________ I


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 6


Mawr I T


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






FROM THE MEXICAN SIDE
Restoring the ancient trade routes
SUCCESSFUL TEST
by Henning Bartsch
In our first article we made a three phase plan for testing Belize
ag products on the Mexican market. Some testing was
done....taking sample products from Cayo for the tourism mar-
ket in Qintana Roo, primarily Playa del Carmen and Aku-
mal. All products were well-received and the response of differ-
ent businesses and distributors was favorable. We hope that in
the next phase, during the month of July, with the help of the
Belize AgReport and BelTraide we will be able to set up meet-
ings with different Belizean producers. We will be in Cayo for
this matter from July loth until July 25th.
My partners and I have been working with officials in Chetumal
to inform ourselves of Mexico's position in regards to various
imports. In Belize, with Beth Roberson's help, I was able to en-
gage in extended inquiries and conversation with the Mexican
Head of Trade, Tourism and Investment in Belmopan and also
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, concern-
ing many of the legal procedures of importing/exporting to the
State of Quintana Roo. Their attitude was so helpful and kind
toward resolving some legal procedures and looking for solu-
tions that we feel encouraged to continue with the process.
And we feel that there is a great opportunity for both countries.
So we feel our test run went well. We expected the products to
be well-received, as one reason for starting this venture is our
great faith that the taste and quality of Belizean ag products fits
precisely the niche markets in the tourism zone of the Maya
Riviera. Moreover, authorities on both sides have been friendlier
and more encouraging and helpful than we expected. This is the
response that we needed to commit in a more serious way.
Our staff in Akumal will now start to interact with customs bro-
kers in Chetumal, as well as Mexican and Foreign Trade Minis-
tries in Belmopan. We would like to thank Beth Roberson and
John Carr, through the Belize Ag Report, for their never-ending
efforts to make this happen.
At some point we will publish in the Belize Ag Report some of
the customs regulations of Mexican Customs, specifically
duty. Another thing that needs to be shown is that Quintana
Roo has consideration as a special region and is therefore given
a status for much less duty than for the rest of Mexico. This
is an extra benefit for us all.
We look forward to our first large distribution and sales of agri-
cultural products from Cayo, Belize to the Maya Riviera in
Quintana Roo, Mexico. We think with this the gates will begin
to open and flow both ways, with people in that region of Mexico
becoming more aware and familiar with Belize, especially the
lovely and fertile district of Cayo.


C


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June-July 200o BelizeAgReport.com 7


IoID~p.'
AD O

O~


LM TO RT U AS

OPERADORA
LAS TORTUGAS

S.A. DE C.V. AKUMAL Q. ROO, MEXICO
and CAYO, BELIZE
Do you have an agricultural product you
wish to export to Southern Mexico?

We are interested in organic fruits and
vegetables, specialty and gourmet items -
and other native food products for testing
in Southern Mexican Market.

4Les gustaria probar productos belicefios
para su negoio o restaurante? contactenos
y le mandaremos un listado de los
productos disponibles.

Would you like to try Belizean products for
your business or restaurant? Contact us and
we will send you a list of available products.

INQUIRIES OR COMMENTS
Please Contact Roberto Rivas at:
TEL: 00 (52) 984-875-9068 or
00 (52) 984-115-5316 (Mexico)
mexicanside@optortugas.com


Belize Pitaya
Growers Association
P.O. Box 365
Belmopan
Rasp.pitaya@yahoo.com


xl


Have a spare acre or two? Why not grow pitayas?
In just four years pitaya, a climbing cactus, can
produce 8,000 10,000 Ibs/acre/year. Consultation
is available. Pitaya season has started, and the
delicious, nutritious, and colorful fruits will be at
local markets from early June through October.


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


1~







BEYOND THE BACKYARD


The Perfect Garden
By Jenny Wildman

Standing looking at my garden I reflect on its contents past
and present and reminisce about the glorious garden of
my childhood. Rows of raspberries, asparagus, rhubarb,
gooseberries, potatoes, brussel sprouts, such rich soil with
abundant possibilities. It is strange that these prizes originated
from far away places and through cultivation adapted so well to
their new environment. When I first came to Belize no one was
planting coffee and seemed to believe it would not grow well
here. Today we have all sorts of crops which were previously
thought impossible: huckleberries for instance.

Has anyone ever grown an apple tree here? "No it would turn
into a Guava." was the answer. Is this cultivation of non- native
plants worth all the trouble, expense of time, chemicals and
fertilizer? My carrots tasted like soap, the lettuce was bitter
and the potatoes pitiful. In contrast the beans, chaya, spinach,
cucumbers, okra, peppers, cabbage and melons were happy,
healthy and productive with no fertilizer and very little tending.
So I am sticking to what grows well, on the look out for better
varieties and being careful not to plant too much so as not to
create a glut of any item.

Neighbours who extol the virtues of multi vitamins,
supplements and pharmaceuticals would not accept any green
vegetables, papaya, okra or noni So no help with overstock
there. I know of a man in Dangriga who feeds the whole block
from his magnificent kitchen garden. His talent and green
thumbs are much appreciated. Are the others just lazy? They
all seem to have flowers and maybe a coconut or two. I begin
to feel sorry for all those who have given up edibles, growing
only crotons and hibiscus in neat flowering rows. There is
something so satisfying about having a garden and picking
a handful of this or that to add to your culinary pleasure. It
saves quite a bit of money but mainly it is good for your health
and well being. My mum used to send me to pick 6 sprigs of
parsley, 3 spring onions, 4 sprigs of mint and I still remember
the delicious aromas and anticipation of what we were about


to create for supper. The Sunday market here has an organic
vegetable stand where produce is very reasonable. So for
the occasional cauliflower and eggplant I just buy there. The
lettuce is far superior to mine so I cut that off the list too.

So what to grow? Definitely greens spinach on a trellis, chaya
as a hedge, dasheen in a damp area. Cabbages are delicious,
nutritious and hardy and keep away parasites when eaten raw.
Pick the main cabbage head, leave the stalk and new baby
cabbages will appear just like brussel sprouts. Plant callaloo
away from everything else as it seeds and takes over the yard.
Cho cho (chayote or cristophine) on a wigwam and the same
with green beans. A variety of peppers, green and red hot in
beds along with marigolds and other edible flowers. Melons
running from mounds. To protect your tasty vegetables from
animals put them in a corral of something spiky like of
henequen. An herb garden of parsley, oregano, fragrant basil,
cilantro, culantro, feathery dill, chives spring onions and
hopefully rosemary. Mint too but make a barrier around it as
it becomes invasive. Aloe vera for burns and local oregano for
earaches. Pineapples ,papayas and Nopal cactus and bananas
on the perimeter as they look so tropical and even if you do not
eat them all ,the birds will thank you. Roses for aroma, colour
and pot-pouri. Two different types of lime, an orange, a mango
and a cashew tree. I plant tomatoes and "special attention" in
pots on my verandah....... No silver bells and cockleshells but
you get the picture and scents of this simply perfect garden....

"A garden is a lovesome thing, God wot! Rose plot, Fringed
pool, Fern'd grot-The veriest school of peace; and yet the
fool contends that God is not-Not God! in gardens! when the
eve is cool? Nay, but I have a sign; 'Tis very sure God walks in
mine." Thomas Edward Brown. 1830-1897

Have fun make a garden with love encourage children to
plant ,enjoy and reap the benefits. Share your garden tips and
ideas with us. Thank you.

Jenny Wildman
spectarte@gmail.com


SSpectarte
100 Embarcadero Road Maya Beac


There is no place like
Spectarte for paintings,
sculptures, furniture,
lighting, and unique
treasures for home and
gifts crafted by Belizean
artists.


h.


June-July 200o BelizeAgReport.eom 8 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Placencia, Stann Creek, Belize


We are open Thurs Sun 9am-4pm
Craft a Cud Maret every Sunday

501-523-8019 OR 604-8910
spectarte@gmail.com
Spectarte.com




























Midwest Steel & Agro Supplies Co. Ltd.
Box 581, Spanish Lookout, Belize
Teml: m823-11 Fax: 823-0270
email: midweststeel&midweststeel.bz


MATSUDA
SEEDS & ANIMAL NUTRICION



PIONEER.
A DUPONT COMPANY


Tropical Pasture Grass & Legume Seeds
Mineral Suppliments for: Cattle (BEEF, DAIRY),
Sheep, Horses


Hybrid Corn and Sorghum Seed
Sorghum-Sudangrass Seed


Visit our online store at: www.midweststeel.bz

June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 9 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







To lime, or not to lime? That is the question.
By Brian Holland
Why, and when, should a farmer consider liming? Most crops,
including vegetables, cacao, bananas and citrus, grow best in soils with
a neutral pH range of 6 6.5. Acidic soils, those with a pH below 6,
occur widely in central and southern Belize. Left untreated, soil acidity
severely reduces crop yields. Therefore, when pH is lower than 6, a
farmer should lime to raise the soil pH. Since yields are dependent
upon good soil conditions, correcting soil acidity should be a priority.
In Belize there are three primary causes of acidic soil conditions:
1. Soils derived from the breakdown of acidic rocks like granite -
these soils are inherently acidic.
2. Leaching of the important plant nutrients calcium and magnesium
by rainfall brings about soil acidity.
3. Long term application of NPK fertilizers has an acidifying effect on
soils.
Serious problems associated with acidic soils
a. Once a soil has become acidic, elements like aluminum, iron and
manganese become soluble and available for plant uptake. In
higher amounts these elements are toxic to most crops. Soils
derived from granitic rocks tend to have high aluminum content.
b. Important primary plant nutrients like phosphorous and
potassium form insoluble compounds in acidic soils and thus
become unavailable for plant uptake.
c. Clay rich acidic soils tend to be poorly drained and aerated (lack
oxygen).
Correcting acidic soils conditions
The application of a liming material in the proper amounts (usually
calculated in lbs/acre/year) will correct soil acidity. Liming material
includes fine ground limestone (calcium carbonate) and fine ground
dolomite (calcium-magnesium carbonate) and quick lime (calcium
oxide). Many countries with important agricultural industries now have
specifications for liming materials. These specifications include


fineness (particle size) and chemical purity. The finer the particle size
the faster the liming material will penetrate into the soil when
broadcast and the quicker its reaction in the soil.
The neutralizing potential of a liming material depends upon its
chemical purity. The purity must be known to accurately calculate the
application rate. It is important to remember that fine ground
limestone and dolomite are not soluble in rainwater; hence they can be
applied at any time. The neutralization of soil acidity takes place in the
soil.
For acid soils deficient in magnesium fine ground dolomite, available
from Belize Minerals Ltd. in Punta Gorda, provides both calcium and
magnesium. Quick lime (calcium oxide) should not be applied on clay
rich soils as it quickly reacts with elements in the clay to form a
cemented crust in the soil. It is for this reason that calcium oxide is
often used to stabilize clay rich soils in e.g. road building or for slope
stabilization.
Soil pH analysis
Both the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) and the Banana Growers
Association offer soil analyses and advice on correcting soil pH
problems. The CGA has its own soil lab and can provide quick and
reliable soil pH analysis.
A farmer should get expert advice on correcting soil acidity problems
and apply an appropriate liming material. It is important to demand an
analysis of the liming material to know the chemical purity and particle
size. Always correct soil acidity before applying fertilizers. Only then
will the full benefit of fertilizing be realized and crop yields will
improve.
Brian Holland
Geologist
Belize Minerals Ltd.
Tel 722 2477
Mobile 621 0110
Email dolomite btl.net
www.belizeminerals.com


PUNTA GORDA
PUNTA GORDA DOLOMITE
Is approved for use in organic farming and
is the only liming material in Belize with
DOLOMITE / guaranteed specs!



When did you last lime your soil? Punta Gorda Dolomite will:


Correct acidic soil conditions
Increase availability of important plant nutrients
Provide Calcium and Magnesium
Improve your yields



BELIZE MINERALS LTD.
Tel. 722 2477 email: dolomite@btl.net


Supplying dolomite to the agricultural industry of Belize since 1992


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 10 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






Meet BEL-CAR


So who is the world's 4th largest exporter of Black Eye Beans?...
did you say Belize? If so you are right! (The other 3 are Peru,
Madagascar & Myanmar.) In quality, Belize is ranked 2nd behind
only Peru. So who are the folks growing and exporting all these
beans? None other than BEL-CAR Export & Import Company Ltd.,
headquartered in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District. Formed in 2000
as a cooperative, BEL-CAR has close to 200 members, about 130
of them active (growing ). Most members are from the Spanish
Lookout Mennonite Colony, with a few from Hillbank. Black Eye
Beans are the#1 export for BEL-CAR, and the #2 is Light Red
Kidney Beans. Volume wise, 90% of BEL-CAR's beans are Black
Eyes, and 10% Red Kidneys.
The crop year is figured from February 1st to January 31st. Last
year 8.2 million pounds of Black Eyes were harvested, previously
7.4M, and around 6.5M before that. This year's estimated yields
are lower approx 6M, due to two factors farmers planting what
will bring them the highest returns, and also disease. Fungus has
popped up as a problem, and crop rotation with R.K. Beans has
shown to reduce this.
So who buys all these Black Eyes?? 97% of them are exported to all
over the world, with 60% going to our CARICOM neighbors in the
Caribbean. Traditionally, they are popular with Arabs and people
of Arab descent. Trinidad eats about 50% Black Eyes (other half
R.K.) and Guyana's bean of choice is nearly entirely Black Eyes.
Portugal is the world's leading importer of this bean, and they have
a large processing/canning sector, from which they supply Europe.
One 100 lb sack of Black Eyes costs $75 Bz$ locally, with the export
price being slightly lower at $36.US$, FOB on the vessel.
How does BEL-CAR manage to satisfy all its members, when crops
come in simultaneously and the risks of storage and loss make
quicker sales desirable for all? They have developed a system
which works quite well for them, and this is how their Black Eye
system works: All members turn in an estimate of what they have
planted, and monthly all growers send BEL-CAR a pound estimate.
Every B.E. growing farmer receives a monthly check, even those
not shipping that month. Farmers bring in the beans at the rate
that they are shipped out. In a system where the price fluctuates,
this allows everyone in the company to receive the same price per
pound. There is also a price paid for storage too, to compensate for
the risks of storage and storage loss.
The marketing system for Red Kidney Beans is different, because
much of that crop is consumed locally. Often farmers prefer to
sell themselves, depending on market and price. So, BEL-CAR
purchases Red Kidneys as they sell them.
BEL-CAR has state-of-the art equipment to clean, grade, polish and
package beans at their Spanish Lookout facility, and has the capacity
to package approximately 100,ooo lbs of beans per day. Look for
corn grits to be added to the line of BEL-CAR's export products
soon, as they have recently purchased processing equipment from
Brazil for this.

By B.Roberson


Note: The Belize Ag Report thanks Mr. Otto Friesen, manager of
BEL-CAR, for his assistance with information for this article.


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 11


w^ i~yra Ms ~


Environment
Friendly


Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer
Box 208, Route 35 West,
Spanish Lookout, Belize
Email: liquid@spanishlookout.bz
Tel: 670-4817 or 672-2404
www.agroliquid.com


,J~NlY


Crop Nutrient


Soil and foliar application

Ci&bus
Banana
Papaya
Sugarane
Vegetable

Corn
Rice

Clean Green,
and no Chlorine

Easy to use


BEgiRty


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Rice Seed Production Project Field Day


By Areli Garcia, Mitylene Bailey

The Ceremony

The ROC (Taiwan) Technical Mission hosted a field day at the
Poppy Show Farm in Toledo on Friday May 14h 2010. This field
day was attended by His Excellency David Wu, Ambassador of the
Republic of China (Taiwan), Alexis Rosado, CEO Ministry of For-
eign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Mr. Gabino Canto, CEO of the
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF); Senator Godwin
Hulse, Mr. Tzeng Huey Wang, Chief of the ROC (Taiwan) Techni-
cal Mission, other Government officials and members of interna-
tional organizations and the public for a totality of ~200 persons.
The event was opened with a prayer, the national anthems of
both countries and lasted about three and a half hours.

In his brief introduction of the Rice Seed Project Chief Tzeng-
Huey Wang, leader of the ROC (Taiwan) Technical Mission in
Belize reflected on the inception of the Rice Seed Project in Belize.
He delineated the three levels of the Rice Seed Production Project
which are Breeder rice seed, Stock rice seed and Commercial rice
seed. The Breeder rice seeds and Stock rice seeds are being pro-
duced in Central Farm, while the Commercial rice seeds are being
produced in Poppy Show Farm over 25 acres and 1o acres in
Santa Anna.

The Speakers

CEO Gabino Canto provided an overview of the Rice Project and
described how the events in the past molded the happenings of
today and how it will affect the future. Currently, the north is pro-
ducing 85% of the rice that circulates the country-a reciprocal of
the past, when Toledo was once in this position. The farmers in
Toledo saw potential in the land and used the irrigated mecha-
nized technique to grow rice and compete with the technology in
the North. In order for Belize to become involved in the interna-
tional market there must be a reduction in the 22 cents gap that
places countries such as Jamaica, Dominican Republic, China and
USA at the forefront. He stated that the only limitation we face is
land availability and commended the ROC (Taiwan) Technical Mis-
sion in Belize for launching the opening of acreages in the District.

In his very concise presentation Alexis Rosado reiterated CEO
Canto's speech but he also left an encouragement by saying "Let's
not repeat history, Belize has many hands and a lot of land-use
this!"

The keynote address delivered by His Excellency David Wu, Am-
bassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) began with a history
of the Rice project in Belize. He said that this day was the realiza-
tion of the promise made by President Ma Ying-Jeou when he
visited Belize in May 2009. The purpose of the new machinery
which has a value of US$500,000 is to assist in the rice and rice
seed production in Belize. He expects the farmers and farmers'
associations to participate in and promote the rice seed produc-
tion in Belize. Ambassador Wu highlighted the importance of food
security of rice consumers. This depends on greater national, re-
gional, and international efforts and investments towards achiev-
ing sustainable production increases. Therefore, the Government
of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is happy to extend assistance to
the government and people of Belize by providing information on
the development of rice production and on improved technologies
that are available for sustainable intensification of rice and rice
seed production.


Field, Land and Machinery Demonstrations and Exhibi-
tions

The attendants of the event were taken on a live action tour to
see the machinery at work. Part of this demonstration included:

Tractor: Working in three different conditions; wet land
preparation, weeding and land preparation on dry land.

Combine harvester: Which was harvesting CARDI-70 in the
process of reaping, binding, threshing, and rice straw
discharge.

Rice transplanter: Planting rice seedlings in the prepared
field.

The entourage was then taken to the newly constructed concrete
store room 30'x 40'x 12' that houses the smaller machines. In
addition to the tractor and combine harvester, the equipment
that were brought to the area were two (2) power tiller cultiva-
tors, three (3) blowing machines, three (3) mist blowers, three
(3) high pressure sprayers, four (4) grain dryers and other useful
paraphernalia. At the end of the field tour there was a display
of the stages of rice seedling:

1st: Trays are filled 80% with topsoil that was pre-sifted and
mixed with rice husk at a ratio of 2:1.

2nd: Germinated seeds are sewn and covered with a thin layer of
soil.

3rd: Topsoil is watered and the trays were stacked 25 units high
and wrapped with Tarpaulin for a single day.

4th: Seedlings are moved to the field to develop, three rows per
plot, for 11 to 15 days.

Prospective Strategies

In conclusion, the ultimate goal of the ROC (Taiwan) Technical
Mission in Belize is to produce 160,000 pounds of Commercial
rice seeds this year and 440,000 pounds for next year. This will
be accomplished by the expansion of 50 acres in Blue Creek. The
collaborative objective of ROC and MAF is to produce rice seeds
to supply the rice farmers in the Toledo District and by exten-
sion, the entire country and in the future export rice to the
Caribbean and Central American Countries.


New machinery in front of newly constructed store room. Combine
harvester, tractor & twelve row rice planter at field day at Poppy
Show Farm, in Toledo.


BelizeAgReport.com 12 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


June-July 2olo







Local Consumption and Values of Farm Products

Farm production for our local consumers continues to rise. We know that prices and crop yields will
vary according to supply, demand and weather factors. It has been stated by farmers that most of these crops
could have a doubling of production in 3 or 4 years if prices and export markets open up.

Recent news indicate that the Partial Scope Agreement with Guatemala is about to go into effect. We
have been in the starting gate for several years but now it seems that the horses (farmers and producers) and the
jockeys (political and trade negotiators) are about ready to run. This will help producers and consumers on both
sides of the border if we can just hear the starting bell.


Farm Products Per week- Per Year- 100 Annual Value Annual lbs. Per Capita
100 lb bags lb bags Consumption
Yellow Corn (@ 20 cents a lb.
12,500 650,000 209.67
Mostly animal & $13,000,000
chicken feed
White Corn (@ 23 cents a lb.
375 19,500 6.30
Est. -3% of yellow- $448,500
human
@1.15 cents a
White Rice 3,750 180,000 lb. 58.06

$20,700,000
Red Kidney Beans- ({& 1.00 a lb
RK's 800 41,600 13.42
$4,160,000
Beans -Little Reds & @q 1.00 a lb
Blks- est. 10% of RK's 80 4,160 1.34
$416,000
Dressed Beef 250 hd @ 400 (@3.00 a lb
lbs 5,200,000 lbs 515,600,000 16.77
800 lb live & 400 lbs
carcass (50%) 10,000 lbs
Dressed Pork 42,000 lbs (-it3.25 a lb
2,184,000 lbs 7.04
300 hd per week 220 live wt. $7,098,000
65%-

140 lb
dressed
@2.20 a lb
Dressed Chicken 615,420 lbs 32,000,000 lbs 103.22
$70,400,000
W3.00 per doz 105 eggs per person/
Eggs 52,000 doz 2,712,500 doz year
58,137,500


Total: $139,960,000 based on population
Per Capita: $451 per person of 310,000
Numbers (ests.) collected by John Carr


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 13 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize








Rain measure Record for Spanish Lookout, Cayo District Belize

1968-2009
41 years By David J. Thiessen and Family


Year
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
Total Average


Jan Feb


2.68 0.31
3.72 3.44
2.01 0.40
5.85 2.81
2.40 1.75
3.57 1.84
5.70 2.18
3.89 3.78
0.79 4.93
3.73 0.84
6.22 2.31
3.69 3.19
0.07 5.59
2.61 1.68
3.30 3.23
2.65 4.20
0.77 2.31
4.02 0.10
2.02 0.32
11.20 2.69
3.37 1.68
7.96 2.86
6.01 1.16
3.27 0.56
3.49 2.00
7.98 1.10
5.42 4.35
3.59 0.00
1.65 2.52
6.30 0.12
2.41 3.30
2.04 0.13
0.39 8.33
2.95 2.52
2.43 0.22
2.10 2.25
2.90 0.50
10.10 3.96
5.62 1.19
3.96 2.05
4.83 1.10
3.33 0.87
3.88 2.16


Jun Jul
6.44 5.18
10 34 11 60


Mar Apr May
5.22
5.74 0.40 6.21
0.62 0.00 4.30
3.71 0.49 1.44
0.13 0.56 1.83
0.43 2.13 3.93
0.31 2.75 0.73
0.53 0.33 0.19
0.05 0.01 3.07
2.00 5.59 5.27
4.20 0.24 5.91
2.51 0.67 2.25
0.19 1.13 2.80
0.49 1.71 1.50
1.91 1.57 4.44
3.64 0.37 0.36
0.65 0.35 4.09
3.27 1.83 0.54
3.76 0.12 8.40
2.50 0.17 0.22
2.42 1.52 0.57
1.07 2.40 0.72
5.48 3.41 6.16
0.26 0.59 9.08
2.42 2.17 4.48
1.05 2.99 3.02
2.36 0.91 2.86
0.00 4.12 0.00
2.23 1.63 2.53
1.40 0.15 3.00
0.57 1.81 3.92
0.40 0.55 1.00
0.20 0.72 2.72
0.32 0.12 9.31
1.17 0.00 6.72
0.74 0.00 2.31
3.30 1.82 7.79
0.55 3.13 4.26
0.73 0.82 4.68
1.39 0.41 1.46
5.07 0.51 8.65
3.25 1.25 2.63
0.00 1.65
1.78 1.25 3.55


5.49
7.48
4.94
7.12
2.13
2.30
17.29
10.61
9.07
10.81
14.82
9.73
14.39
5.89
8.45
5.46
6.99
10.17
6.13
3.99
12.57
3.81
9.46
11.22
2.29
4.55
0.83
10.64
3.27
5.70
6.62
3.77
12.89
1.56
1.61
5.36
13.92
1.38
8.52
5.21


8.35
13.91
25.68
8.40
6.61
2.03
7.08
4.63
8.20
10.15
6.80
13.01
7.13
15.73
14.07
3.02
10.47
9.02
5.94
7.73
3.82
3.81
10.15
4.67
7.40
10.41
11.37
15.27
7.55
8.67
10.24
4.68
8.88
6.50
7.75
4.19
16.78
5.28
5.04
9.22


Aug
6.66
12.41
7.99
8.97
10.12
9.24
4.47
2.59
3.79
5.36
3.99
11.15
3.45
8.67
7.82
5.71
6.14
4.43
9.07
8.58
6.29
3.07
5.84
6.18
7.31
15.73
3.77
9.85
7.06
8.06
9.56
5.79
7.04
7.08
5.19
2.25
0.64
8.92
2.14
6.17
4.20
8.86


Sep
9.05
12.94
7.04
2.86
5.76
3.25
5.82
13.14
6.05
6.11
10.33
7.84
4.66
4.75
7.57
3.32
4.49
6.58
10.87
3.39
7.78
6.91
4.36
7.35
6.93
7.15
9.92
8.59
4.42
10.19
4.87
5.47
8.59
13.51
3.15
4.88
8.00
7.72
4.96
5.61
10.33
3.54


Oct
9.32
4.17
4.83
4.32
9.32
10.32
10.60
16.03
2.60
5.89
8.47
7.88
6.91
12.25
8.47
8.16
7.80
9.19
4.51
1.96
7.98
6.70
3.08
4.76
4.20
7.07
6.84
15.36
7.83
4.63
14.87
6.57
14.76
12.71
6.94
6.98
8.24
6.32
7.72
10.38
14.91
1.44


Nov
3.71
4.83
3.52
9.30
3.77
4.62
4.03
3.61
2.35
5.60
12.23
12.04
9.21
0.64
2.77
3.45
3.54
8.41
5.07
4.89
5.14
6.07
12.47
5.60
7.35
7.24
11.01
5.22
8.74
9.67
11.31
4.05
4.09
3.41
4.22
11.82
5.53
4.72
4.91
6.22
0.34
7.26


7.29 8.81 6.71 6.85 7.90 6.10 5.08 61.41


41 years average 61.41 inches


Kind thanks to the family of David J. Theissen of Friesen Hatcheries, Spanish Lookout for sharing this data.


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 14 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Dec Total
3.78 49.36
0.24 71.87
9.26 58.56
4.57 59.46
6.52 77.29
3.50 57.09
3.38 46.24
2.32 50.95
12.35 62.31
7.39 64.17
5.79 73.00
10.75 84.58
8.01 64.86
3.70 62.11
4.34 64.70
5.53 58.69
9.14 65.57
4.79 50.60
2.80 66.18
4.38 47.62
2.39 60.05
2.64 46.35
6.24 74.25
15.65 64.26
6.09 64.39
4.89 70.52
2.47 58.91
2.60 70.47
5.05 55.28
2.37 69.55
6.22 70.37
4.78 48.69
2.90 60.05
4.98 68.61
3.10 57.73
2.27 41.96
1.86 50.89
3.85 52.42
9.00 79.72
3.00 48.11
2.99 66.57
4.14 52.73







SAGARPA Mexico's
Department of Agriculture
Interview with Dr. Antonio Rico Lomeli
Among the Mexican exhibitors at N.A.T.S. this year was SA-
GARPA for its second year. Dr. Antonio Rico Lomeli, the
national SAGARPA delegate for the entire state of Quintana
Roo, was the gracious host who granted us an informative 90
minute interview. Headquartered in Chetumal, he has a staff
of 170 people and offices in 9 municipalities to administer
the four programs pertaining to Agriculture, Livestock, Rural
Development, and Fisheries in Q.R. Although 99% of Q.R.'s
"gross product" is tourism, agriculture is nevertheless impor-
tant. For example, loo tons of organic honey is shipped to
Germany each year directly from Q.R. Even though Q.R.
produces only 5% of Mexico's total agricultural products, it is
#6 among the Mexican states in the production of cane
sugar, which is grown and processed in Q.R.

SAGARPA is not new; as far back as 1842 the government
recognized the importance of promoting agriculture. Over
the years SAGARPA evolved as the decentralized government
organization to plan, promote and provide technical advice
to its rural communities. It is linked to the national organiza-
tion by signed agreement for program management. SA-
GARPA deals only with small farmers and is distinct in pro-
grams, funding, and organization from that which deals with
commercial agriculture. SAGARPA's organization corre-
sponds to the four major programs and the staff work closely
with the national organization as well as related citizen or-
ganizations at the local level.

Eighty-five per cent of the agriculture activity in Q.R. is done
by small farmers; so SAGARPA is an important assistance to
them. Examples of assistance are:
1. Infrastructure SAGARPA provides 70% of the cost of
irrigation through grants.
2. Machinery SAGARPA applies a sliding scale for assis-
tance based on the quality of the project and previous
history.
3. Land 90o% of the land for community use is govern-
ment-owned.
4. Subsidies $5o,ooo/hectare for grains (corn, soybeans,
beans) and fuel. Farmers can apply for a card for a 15 -
25% discount when they buy fuel.
5. Education SAGARPA has close ties to agricultural or-
ganizations and assists them in their budget for educa-
tion campaigns on the health of plants and animals. Fif-
teen years ago there was a huge information gap; now
the ag. associations spread the word.
6. Technical assistance SAGARPA provides the link be-
tween research and technology performed at the na-
tional level, including pathology and marketing, with
local organizations. In Q.R. research is performed on its
main products: sugar cane, coconuts, vanilla, and chili
habenaros.
7. Training Each product has its chain from grower to
broker to distributor. SAGARPA assists the correspond-
ing ag. organizations with their plans, training, and
office equipment.


SAGARPA in Q.R. has a budget of BZ$1ooM for administra-
tion and grants which doesn't cover all the needs; each year
they can help about 8oo from 4000 applications submit-
ted. Eighty per cent of SAGARPA's budget is allocated to the
livestock program for improving genetics of beef cattle and
infrastructure assistance such as fencing. Beef cattle include
nelore, brahman, brown swiss and american swiss. Hair
sheep that are raised in Q.R. include dorper, black belly, and
peli buey. Poultry and bee-keeping are also included in the
assistance program.

Ten per cent of SAGARPA's budget goes to the assistance of
rural development. SAGARPA emphasizes to its rural popu-
lation the importance of maintaining its natural resources
and reversing the deterioration of ecosystems through ac-
tions to improve soil, avoid erosion and use water efficiently
to minimize waste. Various programs are in place to ensure
concerted action based on legal agreements with the rural
community so they, in turn, can be ensured of the assistance
available to them. One important aspect of assistance is the
encouragement and support of independent banks and credit
unions in rural communities to help the farmers with low-
interest loans.

Fisheries in Q.R. raise mostly tilapia. SAGARPA offers assis-
tance to them in much the same way as to farmers. Major
commercial fishing interests come under the Ministry of En-
vironment, Natural Resources and Fisheries.

By Dottie Feucht
*Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo
Rural, Pesca y Alimentaci6n


The Secret is in the taste
Processina Plant-Blue Creek


Tel: (501) 323-0590
(501) 323-0592
Fax: (501) 323-0067


Belize City
6290 Park Street
Button Wood Bay
Tel: 223-5378
223-5368
Corozal
Corner of 5th St.
South & 7th Ave.
Tel: 422-2862
Orange Walk
3 Guyana Street
Tel: 322-3814
San Ignacio
Esperanza Village
Tel: 824-20251
824-2385


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 15


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize












Authorized Dealer For:

John Deere
Agriculture & Compact
Lawn & Garden
Equipment
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June- ly BelizeAgReport.om 16 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize
June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 16 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$ June July 2010
A-B denotes the difference between 1st preference & second preference and sometimes between wholesale & retail
and bulk or small amounts Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 day (L) Lower (S) Steady
all Belize dollars usually price per Ib
Belize Cattle T A B Grains, Beans & Rice T A B
Young strs. & bulls- 750- 1100 Ibs S .95 -1.00 .93 .95 Belize yellow corn S .18-.19 .17-.18
Cows & Heifers for Butcher S .60 -.75 (old).50 .60 White Corn S .21 .22 .20 .21
Heifers for breeding 650-900 Ibs S 1.00 -1.15 .90 -1.00 Corn/ Local retail (Low volume) S .27 .30 .24 .27
Young grass cattle- 350- 650 Ibs S .85 .95 .75 .85 U.S corn price @ 3.75 U.S a bushel S .13 -.15 .12 -.13
U.S price -corn fed- 1000- 1200 Ibs S-L 180-185 175-180 Guatemala corn price/Peten S-H .25 .27 .23-.25
U.S price feeders 600- 800 Ibs L 2.00 -2.10 1.90 -2.00 Belize Milo S .15 -.16 .14 -.15
U.S price- calves 450- 600 Ibs S-L 2.05 2.15 1.95 -2.05 R-K's, little reds & blacks (beans) S .85 -1.00 .75 .85
U.S price- aged butcher cows S .80 .90 .70 .80 Black eyed peas S 1.00 -1.25 .75 Spa Lt
Belize Hogs Paddy rice/ from combine S .30 -.33 .28 -.30
Weiner pigs- 30 -50 Ibs- by the head S-L $85.00 $95.00 Milled retail rice per pound S whosal 105-110 Ret 120-130
Butcher pigs 125 200 Ibs S 1.70 1.75 1.65 -1.70 Citrus
Belize Sheep Oranges per 90 Ib box-lb.solid basis H $9.50 Est. 2010 price
Butcher lambs S 2.50 2.75 2.25 -2.50 Grapefruit- per 90 Ib box L $4.50 Est. 2010 price
Mature ewes S 1.70 -1.75 1.60 -1.70 _Sugar
Belize Chickens Cane per ton- est. 2010 price S $50 $65 per ton
Broilers- live per Ib S 1.10-1.15 1.05- 1.10 White Sugar- 112 Ibs- controlled S $44.42 per bag
Old hens S .73- .76 .70- .73 Brown Sugar- 112 Ibs- controlled S $38.31 per bag
Belize Milk Bananas
Pd to farmer per Ib S .45 contract no demand Export @ 40 Ib box S Apr- May .price- 12 13
Special farm items Local Wholesale #2 quality- 40 Ib S $ 7.00- $10.00
Shrimp Retail- Farm Raised S 6.50 8.50 5.50 6.50 Retail #2 @ 8 per sale S $1.00 $1.50
Pitaya 12-16 oz S 1.75- 2.00 each Fruits & Vegetables
Eggs-case of 30 dozen L-S 59- wholesale 68 retail Tomatoes, Cabbages, cucumbers S .50 1.25, wh 1.25 2.00,rt
***These prices are best estimates only from our best sources and simply provide a range to assist buyers and sellers in negotiations. ***
Dear Ag Readers: Prices on livestock of nearly all classes have been draggy to lower. Grains are steady and both are waiting patiently for the Mexican/
Guatemalan markets to open up. The Partial Scope Trading Agreement (Guatemala) is very close. We have established some good relationships
there and feel that long term business will happen. Farmers are ready to plant and some black dirt was dusted in. We are having the wettest May in
my 33 years of remembrance, 7 or 8 inches or more in the last 10 days. May God Bless your family, your business and your country. All the best, John Carr







Light Rein
BACKING (continued from issue #6)
by Marjie Olson

In the last article we discussed the benefits of backing a
horse. Both from the ground on a lead and most importantly,
from the saddle. Now let's discuss how to get started teach-
ing them to do it, why they may flatly refuse, and things to be
careful about.

I say be careful, because there will be horses who get over
dramatic with being asked and have a hissy fit that may in-
clude throwing their head around, striking, or possibly rear-
ing. Horses who are older, who may have a locked up pelvis,
sore hocks or a stubborn streak, may fall into the category of
the hissy fit. The idea is to read your horses level of trust,
understanding and willingness to your request. Stay firm,
but not forceful and be sure to praise when even a couple of
steps have been given to the command. If a true refusal or
any of the above behavior modes come into play, you may
need to step back and figure out the issue, such as the sore-
ness issues I mentioned.

Let's say Trigger is feeling fine, no back issues from a locked
pelvis or ill fitting saddle, no hock soreness. Good; then
other than getting him to understand what we want, we are
ready to begin.

From the ground, be sure to have a halter on the horse and
either a stud chain over the nose (from the left side ring to
the right side ring and UP to the right side cheek ring with
snap), or a lead rope attached to lower center ring. Now you
will need either a hand whip or a sweat scraper. A carriage
whip works as you can also direct a hip if needed; even a
stick the size of your thumb with a rounded end will do.
These 'tools' are to be used to direct and lengthen your arm
reach, not as an abusive object!

Standing slightly off center to the left but in front of the
horse's chest, ask him with three cues that will work to-
gether. A pull on the lead-with a downward motion and back
toward center of chest or front feet, a click from your tongue,
and a light push with the handle of the whip or end of
scraper or stick into the center of his chest area. The word
back may also be used instead of click. These three cues work
simultaneously and in a rhythm to what his steps would be.
Pull/click/poke, pull/click/poke, pull/click/poke. It's like a
clock ticking a 2 count...1, 2, quick pause with a release,
again, 1, 2, pause, again. Slow count of 1-2. With the pressure


and poke stopping for a second in between sets. You will
need to modify your timing to fit your horse; just don't be
too fast. It may take twice and you will get a couple of steps,
or it may take 20 times with a stronger pull and poke being
created over every 5 times. BUT...When you get 2-3 steps,
stop, take a moment to praise, make it a big issue that Trig-
ger did a good thing; then go for 3 steps again. If you get him
to do it several times, be done; ask for it again tomorrow. Do
it every day till it is no longer a training thing, just a yes to
the command.

Getting your horse to back well, ground or on saddle, will
help his overall physical health tremendously if done cor-
rectly. He must keep his head in a natural position, level or
even slightly below level, but never back with his head in the
air and his back hollowed out.

Ok, so now he can back from the ground in halter, no shank,
no poking, just a light pull and click or the word back. (We
actually train to the next level of no touch, just body lan-
guage, but that is a lot of time and truly not something you
get in a few sessions.) You should get at least 4 to 6 steps out
of each command; don't end with 2-3 or it's not going to be
much help.

Next issue we will discuss from the saddle. Thanks for read-
ing and 'enjoy the ride'.

Marjorie Olson (no longer Henley)Light Rein Farm,
5 Mile Mtn Pine Ridge Rd. Cayo Dist, Belize, C.A.

All comments are of the opinion ofMarjie 0. Henley and
are in no manner expected to be the only way to train a
horse, but have proven to work for her.


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Why not learn something new-get your horse more comfortable-get you more comfortable on your horse-enjoy the ride even more!
Yes it is Belize...but that doesn't mean you can't advance you and your horse
Email Shotzy08@live.com or 663-4609, please be aware, email and phone service are limited at this time, it could be a day or two to get back with you

June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 18 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize















Ecotel Four, Ecotourism Jungle Lodge
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Belize Equestrian Academy is located at Mile 54 Western Highway Cayo Dist.
We have wonderful school horses or you can bring your own, let Marjie help
you expand your horse knowledge or get you started in the equine world.


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 19 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


100AhL







VARIETIES OF MANGOS IN BELIZE

Mango is indigenous to India and is cultivated in many
tropical and subtropical regions with a broad distribution
worldwide. Its scientific name is Mangifera indica and the
fruit is extensively use for its juice, flavor, fragrance, color,
pickle and fresh fruit.
In Belize mango has a long history since countrywide, we can
appreciate old mango trees along the highway while entering
any of our villages or towns. The mango season in Belize var-
ies from year to year since its flowering pattern is triggered
by climatic condition, mostly moisture stress and a change in
day and night temperature. There are many varieties of man-
goes in Belize which produces a wide range of color, texture,
flavor, and shape. Mangos can basically be classified in two
major categories: Local and commercial varieties.
Some of the more popular local varieties are Judgewig,
Number Eleven, Blue Mango, Julie, Slipper Mango and
Thundershock. These varieties vary in color, flavor, firmness,
taste and shape/size, fibrous or hairiness. These mangos
are generally tasty, small in size and posses the disadvantage
of having a very short shelf life. In addition to the known
local varieties some new varieties have emerged on a con-
tinuous basis because some varieties are compatible with
each other producing fruit of undesirable nature. This is the
main reason why mangos are usually grafted so as to pro-
vide the growers with a plant that have defined properties
and qualities.


.C uURAL DVELop





SERVICES LIMI,1


The most common commercial varieties that are normally
grafted are the Haden, Kent, Keitt, and Tommy Atkins. These
varieties normally have good size, taste, appearance and a
long shelf life which makes it the preferred fruit for the su-
permarket and exportation.
Some important facts about mangos in Belize

Mango trees produce more fruit and are better quality
along the coast.
The term refer to as burningofflowers is, in fact, a fungal
disease which is called Anthracnose which thrives
when there is excessive moisture during flowering.

The belief that rain causes mango to become infested
with worms (Larvae) is incorrect. The reality is as
the season progresses the fruit fly population in-
creases. Fruit flies lay eggs on mangos which develop
into larvae which feed on the pulp of the fruit. This
whole scenario peaks at the beginning of the rainy
season causing these false impressions.
Belizeans can enjoy mangos for many months since we can
eat them when they are "green", "turn", "ripe", and "over
ripe" in jams and jellies. Most Belizeans anxiously await the
mango season or have some sort of child hood experience
that pertains to the mango season.

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June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 20 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


I)


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Vermiculture: California Red Worms
Make Fertile Soil

Recycling horse manure has been combined with the use of Cali-
fornia red worms and a compost pile to develop rich, fertile soil
for planting seeds, seedlings, and enriching garden soil at the
Maya Farm at the Lodge at Chaa Creek. Mick Fleming, owner of
Chaa Creek, and his farm crew started with a handful of red
worms a year and a half ago and now he has 14 boxes (20" X 20"
X 6") of worms in his soil-enrichment project. Each night the
worm boxes are covered; that's because Mick discovered early
one morning, when he was investigating the reason his biggest
worms were missing, that the local birds were enjoying a gourmet
breakfast!

Mick started his project by adding the worms to a box of raw
horse manure and adding water occasionally to keep the manure
damp but not wet. The bottom of each box is drilled with a few
holes to allow excess liquid to drain. As the worms grow and
multiply, they also break down the manure, and create worm
castings (worm manure) or vermicast, a fine odorless humus,
which can be used as a nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil
conditioner. The process takes about a month. Then he developed
a maintenance routine:

1. He places a box with a wire mesh bottom containing raw
manure on top of the worm box in the evening; most of the
worms crawl from the bottom box through the mesh to the
upper box filled with the new appetizing horse manure. It
takes about 3 days for the transfer.

2. To "capture" the remaining worms he empties them with
the humus onto a crocuss bag in the sun and forms a pyra-
mid. Worms hate sunlight; so they burrow into the middle of
the pyramid. As they crawl away from the edges, he re-
moves that soil and in about an hour the pile is mostly
worms. He places them into a new box of manure.

To use the compound, the farm crew mixes the fine-textured hu-
mus with fine-textured compost developed in a compost pile from
discarded vegetable leaves, tree leaves, grass cuttings, etc. They
mix one wheelbarrow full (approximately 3 buckets) of soil with
2 buckets of compost and worm -processed manure mixture for
planting seeds and seedlings and soil enrichment.

In the middle of the compost and worm processing area is a big
sour sop tree with 25 huge sour sops ripening. Usually a tree that
size would have 3 or 4 sour sops. Mick attributes the extraordi-
narily large number to its close proximity to the soil enrichment
project ingredients.


Sirmoor Hill Farm

Bed and Breakfast


Comfort and quiet, rolling hills,
jungle views
www. sirmoorhillfarm.com
501-722-0052
New Road, Punta Gorda, Toledo

-A--AAL 14,44111H(


AQOAw


By Dottie Feucht

June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 21 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


--~~ II.. .. . .


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. MAN-







Interview with Mitylene Bailey. Rice Technician at
the Technical Mission of the Republic of China
(Taiwan)
By Dottie Feucht

1. In what subject is your degree(s)?

The highest degree I hold to date is a Bachelor's Degree with
highest honors (summa cum laude) from the University of
Belize. I got my first degree from El Camino College in Cali-
fornia.

2. How did you get started workingfor ROC- TTM?

Well, I'd always had this obsession with food and as I grew
older I wanted to change the way the Belizeans ate since, as
we all know, there is a prevalence of degenerative diseases
due to poor eating habits. I knew it would be difficult to say
to someone, "Eat this or eat that and this much of it." So, I
thought if there is a way that only quality, nutritious foods
are made available to the public at a low cost then there
would be no choice but to eat only the good stuff! Here in
Belize our staple is rice. I had seen on a morning show the
Technical Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was
funding a project involving this staple. I figured if I could get
involved and learn the logistics of rice production I will have
the tools to tailor the quality, quantity and distribution for
my country. After a few emails, I made a trip to TTM from
my home in the Belize District, introduced myself to Mr.
Frank Lin and asked him to teach me what he knows about
rice and as the old saying goes, "the rest is history"!

3. How long have you been working there?

I have been here since August 2009 but began employment
in September. I finally 'got the hang of things' in November
and I'm pretty much on autopilot these days. I have met a lot
of influential and exceptional people. I'm really surprised at
the things I have been doing and how much I learned. It's
really exciting!

4. What are your responsibilities?

In short, I'm the person who is responsible to produce what
is called breeder seeds. These are the seeds of the highest
quality and are produced in small amounts. These seeds are
important since they keep the rice variety stable. This is done
by a process of purification (described in the article I wrote)
where the traits that are required for a specific variety are
selected out and those that are less desired are not replanted.
I also am required to produce small test plots for stocks
seeds, which, after purification, are planted in larger fields
and used as stock seeds. These are taken to Toledo where
they are planted for commercial seeds which are sold to
farmer to produce rice for food. Making small test plots for
stock seeds can provide a snapshot of the characteristic pres-
entation of a newly purified variety. That way, if there are
any changes to be made they can be addressed before the
seeds arrive in Toledo.

5. What is the most memorable project you worked on in
college?

Well, I did a study "Mangrove Ethnobotany and Habitat".
This was a two-part study that allowed me to visit the West


Virginia Wesleyan College to research the cytotoxic effects of
mangrove extracts in mammalian cancer cells and bacteria.
Then earlier this year the team reunited in Belize to deter-
mine the change in spatial distribution for mangrove com-
munities in Belize. Both aspects of the research shows prom-
ising results and this will be published in a West Virginian
undergraduate peer-reviewed journal later this year.


6. What do you like best about your job?

It's outside! I enjoy the feeling of being free and being out-
side makes that possible for me. Everyday is different and
unique; I like the dynamics. I have seen a lot of nature and
wildlife in that small area in such a short time. The biology
texts that I have studied have not even captured a fraction of
the moments that I enjoy being in the field. Secondly, the
opportunity to meet many people of interest; sometimes they
come to ask questions and other times just to observe what
I'm doing. I get a boost when I get the opportunity to show
the work that is being done. I have met dignitaries, diplo-
mats and destitutes; the feeling that there are no barriers
between myself and people and that I, even in the small area
I'm in, can make a world of difference!

7. Where did you go to elementary and high school?

I grew up in Hattieville Village, 16 miles on the Western
Highway. There, I went to the government school and it was
there that I learned the art of self-motivation. My parents
chose to send me to an all girls' Catholic high school in Belize
City, Pallotti High School, where my interest in food was fu-
eled in the food and nutrition classes I took for the entire
four years there. In high school I learned to be competitive
and assertive where it counts and this shaped the profes-
sional skills that I am now using in my work and life today.

8. What subjects in school do you think are the most impor-
tant for young people interested in agriculture?

Wow! That depends on the section they want to get into.
Generally, the sciences and health sciences are important
since they answer the questions about plant and animal sys-
tems and how they work. Geography is necessary because it
acquaints us with land and soil types, topography, weather
patterns and climate changes. Social Studies is extremely
important since it reveals the demographics of the country as
well as the import and export needs as time changes. Mathe-
matics is a necessity for the calculation of land area, materi-
als used and needed, money spent and money earned. Lan-
guage Arts makes it possible for us to understand the impor-
tant things such as the particulars of contracts that are
drawn up when it comes to land possession and ownership
and simpler things such as fertilizer and chemical applica-
tion. A good command of English also makes it easy to par-
ticipate in seminars and workshops and to establish or improve
relations with other members in the agriculture community.
Physical Education trains the body to manage physical stress,
work as a team and co-operate with partners in a contact
environment. So essentially, every subject presented at primary
school can be a foundation on which to build. It's just
branching out thereafter.
Continues on page 25


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 22 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Continues from page 24


9. What opportunities do you think young people have in
agriculture here in Belize?
That's a really good question! We can talk about this for
hours. See, Belize is blessed a hundred fold with the perfect
land, agreeable weather and strategic location. Most young
folks these days, I have noticed, along with a growing num-
ber of middle-aged adults, are more interested in subsistence
farming. Interestingly, they all seem to be focused on a single
crop or animal. Some of the times they attach themselves to
businesses that can feature their product and this way they
make a living. Other times they choose to use food process-
ing methods to make the material export-worthy. With to-
day's buzz about 'the recession' and 'cutting corners' the or-
dinary Joe can buy a decent piece of land and become an
exporter of his produce. Opportunities available to those
involved with agriculture can range from a single farmer
planting his backyard with vegetables to make enough
money to live to a highly experienced biotechnologist devel-
oping seeds of highest quality and nutritional content to sat-
isfy the requirement for food security throughout the world.
It depends on one's desire and goal. The sky really is the
limit.
o1. Do you think the schools in Belize should offer more
agricultural studies?
More than offering the agricultural studies I think we should
focus on getting a good general education background.


While doing that the teachers can include the importance of
agriculture by creating small gardens or tending a few small
animals periodically at school. This will not focus primarily
on agriculture but it will expose the ones that are interested
to the endless possibilities!


Notice to Readers of
the Printed Issues:


Please thank the Belize Ag Report
advertiser, in whose business you found
your copy.
Their ads are what make this all possible.


it e4tI


--rrxgt


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 23 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


frbff tRf






Cattle Prices Down...Continued from page 1

(it has been told that it will take 4 or 5 months to complete it
and for sure the start is a few months away. They expect
BLPA to find out why this important project is taking so
long. Meaningful information as to time lines and actual cat-
tle testing seem to be very vague. The steering committee
which is made up of people from many sectors, including
BLPA, MOAF, BAHA, IICA and ORISA (hopefully this in-
cludes everybody) seems to be somewhat bogged down. Cat-
tle producers can only guess the reasons, but what they are
not guessing about is that livestock producers are losing


hundreds of thousands every month. Please find below a
chart showing an estimated cattle population, off take per
year at 25% and losses calculated at $300 per head. This is a
30% reduction in sales.
Cattle losses because of bad markets (we need to export le-
gally)
Please find some reasonable estimated cattle population numbers
that indicate these very concerns. It is estimated that 25% of our
national herd is sold each year. Cash losses are being computed at
$300 per head or .30 cents a pound on a 1,000 pound animal-(this
is compared to the sale prices of 2-3 yrs ago- $1.25 a lb to .95 a lb
on 1,000 lbs)


Orange Walk District


Area & ranch descriptions
Blue Creek
Ship Yard & Indian Creek
Other Ranches


Population
22,000 head
22,000 head
400 head


Off-take (a, 25%
5,500 head sold x $300:
5,500 head sold x $300:
100 head sold


Losses (a, 300
$1,650,000
$1,650,000
$30 000


Total 44,400 head 1,100 head sold $3,330,000

Cayo District
Spanish Lookout 18,000 head 4,500head sold= $1,350,000
Two other Ranches 3,000 head 750 head sold= $225,000
Total 22,000 head 5,500head sold $1,650,000


Estimated balance for
the rest of Belize


23,600 head


Loss Grand Total (estimated):
90,000 head
Notes:


Domestic use (local consumption) 12,000 head @ 850 = $10,200,0(
Export sales 10,500 head @1000= $10,500,000
Cattle Values in Belize 90,000 head @ 850= $76,500,000
Land values (2 acres per animal x 90,000 head 180,000 acres)
Price per unit at $3,000 for 2 acres (grass & fencing) $270,000,000
Total estimated livestock & pasture investment $346,500,000
Numbers collected (ests.) by John Carr


00


Cedar Bluff Ranch

HOME OF N.A.TS. CHAMPIONS


Nelore Bulls For Sale


Stallion Breeding Service


49 YEARS RANCHING IN CAVO

John C. Roberson Tel: 664-7272 crbelize@gmail.com


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 24 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


5,900 head sold


22,500head sold


$1,770,000


$6,750,000







Continuesfrom page 1


The survey was commissioned in July 2009 and was com-
prised of various field visits to individual farms throughout the
six (6) districts of Belize. The final report summarizes the
findings of the survey and provides a set of recommendations
to guide the development of the sector over the next two (2)
years. The report is divided in three (3) main areas, which in-
clude: an overview of the aquaculture sector, observations and
findings of the survey, as well as strategic recommendations.
The findings in this report along with recommendations were
submitted to the Minister of Agriculture & Fisheries.

Some of the most relevant constraints to the development of
small-scale fish farming in Belize identified during the survey
were: the lack of a marketing strategy, inadequate feed and
seed stock supplies, limited Aquaculture Extension Services,
uninformed and inappropriate pond design and construction,
inappropriate husbandry procedures and pond management
practices, the lack of amenable credit and fiscal incentives.
Other areas of concern include: the lack of availability of proc-
essing facilities, the lack of information in regards to the qual-
ity assurance standards required for fish and fishery products,
and the lack of proven cost models for small-scale fish farm-
ing.

Thus far, the Fisheries Department is well informed about the
present situation and has been engaged in various initiatives
to address the constraints affecting the sector. In 2009, there
was an initiative undertaken through the Food and Agriculture
Organization to hire a local consultant to develop a 'Short,
Medium and Long-Term National Strategy & Action Plan for
the Development of Freshwater Aquaculture in Belize". The
draft document had the benefit of stakeholder participation
and was submitted to the FAO and the GOB for approval in
late December, 2009. Also, during the first quarter in 2010,
the Fisheries Department organized a 'Strategic Planning Ses-
sion' with small farmers and the outputs of the meeting will be
submitted for Cabinet consideration.

Some of the pertinent issues have been captioned in the
budget submission which range from the need for ex-
panding the seed stock production program at the Fisheries
Department Biscayne Facility, national coverage of Aquacul-
ture Extension Services and the need to establish demonstra-
tion farms in the respective districts. One of the pressing is-
sues with regards to the high cost of aquaculture feeds has
already been addressed by GOB through the reduction of im-
port duties for tilapia feeds.

Status of Small Scale Aquaculture in Belize

Most of the interest in developing small scale freshwater aqua-
culture in Belize has been the farming of both the red and the
grey tilapia. Most of the farms that have been established thus
far are located mostly in the districts of Cayo, Belize, Orange
Walk and Corozal. The July Survey on Small Scale Fish Farm-
ing indicated that there was a total of 55 farmers actively in-
volved in the farming of tilapia. By the end of 2009, there was
a total of 65 farmers farming either the red or the grey tilapia
in a total production area of 14 acres and 213,782 fish stocks
associated with these production units with sizes ranging from
0.01 acres to 0.25 Acres. At least 25% of the stocks recorded
for 2009 were fingerlings stocked during the last quarter of


2008.

Farmers were supplied with seed stocks of the red hybrid from
the Fisheries Department Biscayne Seed Stock Production Fa-
cilities and the grey tilapia from Fresh Catch Belize Limited. In
2009, the Fisheries Department provided a total of 92,555
fingerlings of the red hybrid tilapia for farmers throughout
Belize. Most of the fingerlings were supplied during the first
half of 2009.


The estimated production for 2009 was 111,000 pounds of
whole fish with an additional loo,ooo pounds of fish which are
scheduled for harvest by mid-2010 from the 2009 crop. The
production for 2009 has been estimated on the basis of the
number of stocks in ponds and stocking dates. The production
from small scale fish farming is consumed by the local
market. In terms of the market demands, various importers
from Mexico have expressed an interest to purchase whole
eviscerated tilapia, but small scale farmers in Belize are not at
the production level to meet the export demands.





eIqos MORwTS
Sec I nos m Ltd.
WHOLESALE PRODUCTS


June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 25


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







VERY POOR RURAL FAMILIES IN
BELIZE CAN ELIMINATE THEIR
POVERTY BY USING MICRO-GRANTS
TO INVEST IN THEIR PRODUCTIVE
ENTERPRISES
By
Michelle Lindo (BEST), Nerie Sanz and
Dr. Marcelino Avila (BRDP)

Recent international development experience, based on the
pioneering work of Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus and the
Grameen Bank, shows that one of the most cost-effective sup-
port for the poorest of the poor is through direct financial
grants or micro-credit to improve an existing enterprise or
start a new one. This enables them to develop sustainable live-
lihood options. Such experience also has shown that micro
enterprises are much more successful with female rather than
male beneficiaries. For many poor people, micro-grants can
provide a starting point to bring them to the level where they
can plan investment in an enterprise. Micro-grants for the
extremely poor may constitute a longer-term safety net. Grants
can be the first step in allowing the extremely poor to invest
time and resources in learning and improving their skills and
building an asset base. A micro-grant can also reduce the vul-
nerability of the poor against shocks caused by natural or man-
made disasters.

The micro grants project was developed by the Belize Rural
Development Program (BRDP), and supported by the Euro-
pean Union and the Government of Belize, in an effort to bring
some of the critically needed resources to those mostly in
need, such as young single mothers, senior citizens and the
disabled, who want to participate in BRDP but can not join a
group to invest in an income generating activity. They are the
ones who suffer from the worst social conditions, are excluded
from socio-economic opportunities, marginalized in the
decision-making process, and they are among the less edu-
cated, low skilled and without access to credit and other enter-
prise development resources.

From early 2007 to the present, BRDP has invested in some
668 micro grants (approx. 60% are women-headed house-
holds) who reside in over 11o villages in the 6 districts of Be-
lize. This was accomplished with the help of several partners:
the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST),
Plenty-Belize, YWCA, the Citrus Growers Association, La In-
maculada, St Francis Xavier and Toledo Teachers Credit Un-
ions. With an average investment valued at BZ$ 1,200 which
the beneficiaries themselves decide in terms of infrastructure,
equipment, technology and/or inputs, the expectation is that
they will be able to generate employment for their families and
generate additional income to improve their standard of living.
The enterprises cover a wide range of income-generating ac-
tivities. For example, in Belize district 46% of the first rounds
of micro grants were invested in cosmetology, cake making,
hair salon and sewing; 27% dealt with food preparation, fast
food and snack shops; and the remaining 27% dealt with agri-
culture, vegetable production, landscaping, arts and craft, and
other services.

Thus far, the program is very successful. The application-


evaluation-implementation process is quick and fairly easy.
For example, BEST has invested in two hundred and seven
(207) families. It was expected that the recipient households
would increase their income by 25%. Sixty percent (60%) of
participating households did experience an increase in income
much more than 25%. Seven percent (7%) of the families did
have an increase in income but under 25%. Several of the
grants were disbursed near the end of the project, therefore
twenty one percent (21%) of targeted households could not
report any sales due to the early nature of their businesses. These
households will be monitored to collect information on impact
on income at a later date. In terms of employment generation,
another key objective of the program, BEST reported that at
the present time, ninety six percent (96%) of the businesses
were still active and creating income and employment for the
targeted families.

In addition to the investment in the enterprise, BRDP and its
partners have provided relevant and timely technical assis-
tance and training to the beneficiaries during project imple-
mentation. For example, BEST and Plenty-Belize have pro-
vided training in business planning, record-keeping, pricing,
marketing, management and feasibility study, to over loo% of
the targeted population, even some who did not go ahead with
the grant implementation. Upon monitoring visits it was no-
ticed that several of the entrepreneurs are keeping records of
their businesses. Several of them have expanded their busi-
nesses through savings and loans from BEST's micro credit
scheme. These include some fast-food businesses, vegetable
production, grocery shop and a carving business. These entre-
preneurs have progressed from requiring a grant to now being
able to borrow and to generate resources to repay a loan.

Based on the interview with 4 sample micro grantees which
was aired on the Love TV "Belize Watch" (8 Feb 2010), the
BEST micro grant project has shown that small amounts of
financial resources, when coupled with production and techni-
cal support, can in fact change attitudes and self-confidence,
perceptions, technical skills and the lives of poor families.
Clearly, the micro-grant program is proving to be an excellent
investment, good value for money, in the fight against poverty
in Belize. The micro grant methodology, recommendations
and lessons learnt from the program are already being shared
with other interested collaborators in Belize.



BELIZE RURAL DEVELOPMENT
PROGRAMME (BRDP)
Mailing address:
BRDP, P.O.Box 107
Belmopan, Belize
Office Location: Belmopan Agricultural Showgrounds


BSUS ELIZE ENTERPRISE FOR SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY

-4 Mile 54, Hummingbird Highway
P 0. Box 35
Belmopan City, Cayo District, Belize C.A.
S Telephone: 501-822 3150/822-3043
B*E. S


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 26 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize








Classifieds
Classified prices:
2-3 lines= $22; 4-5 lines=$3o; 6-7 lines=$38

Experience Mango Walk Inn, where service is our main
concern. Rustic cabins, $50 /night. Fresh Belize dishes only
$10. Swim in Beautiful Rio Macal, canoe, birdwatch or just
relax in a cool hammock. Mango Walk Inn, a small farm has
different animals to enjoy. Please contact Deirdre Lotiff at
mangowalkinn@yahoo.com.

WANTED: Good used canoe,lifejackets & paddles(2 ea)
email: k.ray@mac.com

STAINED GLASS WINDOWS Custom design, any size,
all imported materials. For churches, hotels, businesses or
private residence. Email: leisa@bananabank.com for more
info.

FOR SALE: New Holland Baler, Ford Sickle Mower,
5 wheel rake. All in working condition $8,200. call 6oo-
2853 or email amar.international.maruja@gmail.com

FOR SALE: Earthquake Power Auger, 43 cc, 2 cycle,
with 6" auger, 1 person operates. Like new, $575. Call 822-
0369

GROW YOUR OWN DIESEL Jatropha seedlings 'Ready
To Plant; harvest in the first year! Process seeds as bio-
diesel...... 1,000-20,000 seedling supply. Sliding scale
pricing. Great opportunity to help the planet, make & save
money! Tel:501-621-3432 Location: Mile 63 Western
Highway, (Central Farm Airstrip), www.b-oilbelize.com

FOR SALE: MORINGA PLANTS: $10 per plant. Belize-
Michigan Partners (Dr. Chris Bennett) tel 223-0404 or
bennett@btl.net

BIO-DEGRADABLE PLANTING BAGS: Eco friendly
propagation method, saves $ $ $ $ in nursery, planting, time &
labor. Pre-filled sterile peat bags with pH loaded. All tree,
plant and vegetable types available. Mile 63, Western High-
way (Airstrip) 501-621-3432 www.b-oilbelize.com

BELIZE BIRD RESCUE is dedicated to the care, rescue
and rehabilitation of all bird species in Belize, especially
parrots. 822-1145/ 610-0400/ 602-4291
info@belizebirdrescue.com www.belizebirdrescue.com

TRADE: Pickup Truck for Art. Masterpieces-
Paintings/Murals/Special Commissions by renowned Beliz-
ean Artist. Please check www.waltercastilloart.com for refer-
ence. Tel: 663-8323

PROPERTY FOR SALE: Barton Creek, 74 ac on
creek,approx 700 ft creek frontage. $249k usd, or 380 ac,
includes above with creek for $51okusd. Private farm or re-
sort potential. Holdfast Ltd 663-6777 / 662-5263



June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com


PROPERTY FOR SALE OR TRADE: 99 acres Banana
Bank area, riverfront, North side of Bze River, massive trees,
rolling hills, 80% cleared, 249k usd or trade for beachfront
Hopkins, Seine Bight or land in U.S.A. 662-5263,664-7272,


PROPERTY: RENTAL, rural luxury, Cristo Rey Rd, 15 m
ins from San Ignacio, 1 bdrm, 2 full baths, deck, barbq, great
views, maid/yard service/security on working farm. $750
usd/mo. Call Sandra or Beth 664-7272 or 663-6777

PROPERTY: Horticulturalists dream-home on 1 acre, feels
like more, in Belmopan City limits, west side of Humming-
bird Hwy. Extensive landscaping, fruit trees, orchids, etc
Asking 295kusd. 664-7272, 662-5263




NOTICE:
FIND OUR AG CALENDAR ONLINE
Www.BelizeAgReport.com
Where?... On the Ag Calendar Tab.

Send us the information about your agriculture-related event
and we will post it at no charge. Email
or call 663-6777

Wholesale and Retail
Gasoline & Diesel
We Deliver

Tel:824-2199
Cell:610-1970













ain ta Elelina



SHarvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


27 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize




















































E


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 28 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


i,







AG NEWS BRIEFS

CACAO- The Toledo Cacao Growers Association estimates 2010
production at 70,000 pounds. Current price to the grower for his
organic cacao is $2.25 BzD, which is the same as the 2009
price. Approximately 90% of this will be exported, and 10% proc-
essed locally. Four local chocolatiers: Goss, Kakaw, Cotton Tree
and Cyrila's, all shared their delicasies at the May 2010 Toledo Ca-
cao Fest, at the sold out Friday night Wine and Chocolate Party.
Belizeans, international chocolatiers and potential bean buyers
attended the weekend festivities too. Toledo soap makers, Dawn
and Jo's Soap Co. and Dr. Mandy Tsang/Dr. Alessandro Mas-
cia marketed products including chocolate soaps at the Saturday
Taste of Toledo Fair held at Petillo Park, Punta Gorda Town. These
specialty cacao soaps utilize byproducts from the chocolate process-
ing- both cacao nibs and cocoa butter.

CHEESE- A temporary restriction is in place for import permits for
two types of cheese Mozzarela and Cheddar. This has resulted
from the surplus store of them by Belizean Mennonite cheese pro-
ducers. No other cheese and dairy imports are affected by this tem-
porary ban.

HONEY- The Q.Roo honey cooperative, Sociedad Cooperative de
Produccion Apicola la Flor del Tajonal, who exhibited at NATS,
will be returning early summer to Cayo, to present a workshop on
processing honey into soaps, lotions, and the like, to Belizean honey
producers.

JATROPHA- Reports from B-OilBelize.com indicate that 25,000
of 3 mos old seedlings from their nursery have been planted this
year to date in Sarteneja, Cristo Rey, and the Barton Creek areas.

NATS Participants from Mexico-A full list of the representatives
of companies and institutions of the states of Quintana Roo and Yu-
catan and an enlargement of the front page photograph of the group
can be found in our ONLINE ANNEX. This entourage of Mexican
businesses were all under one roof in the former U.S. Pavillion. SA-
GARPA and SENESICA set up booths in another area of the
grounds We thank the Mexican Embassy in Belize for their coordi-
nation at the NATS.


Better Coverage



In More Places




smart!
*0; rl


I) P


LOCAL & REGIONAL FUEL PRICES


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 29 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


TYPE Belmopan Quintana Roo, Peten,
Belize Mexico Guatemala

7.89 pesos/Lt. 31.00 Qtz/Lt.
REGULAR $9.43 BZ/Gal
$4.56 BZ/Gal $8.36 BZ/Gal

9.43 pesos/Lt. 32.00 Qtz/Lt.
PREMIUM $9.77 BZ/Gal
$5.44 BZ/Gal $8.65 BZ/Gal

8.29 pesos/Lt. 26.90 Qtz/Lt.
DIESEL $8.49 BZ/Gal
$4.78 BZ/Gal $7.27 BZ/Gal







PROMEFRUT
By Marjua Vargas

A second working session with 71 delegates from eight coun-
tries was convened in Guatemala City on April 28, 2010 for
the purpose of reviewing and prioritizing the survey informa-
tion collected earlier in the year through working sessions in
each of the participating countries on the promotion and
sustainability of the fruit tree sector. The working group se-
lected the vehicle for implementation of the regional policy.
The policy is to be carried out by the newly formed Consejo
Agropecuario Centroamericano/Central America Council of
Agriculture Ministers (CAC) comprised of the Ministers of
Agriculture of the eight participating countries: Belize, Costa
Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hondu-
ras, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the participating countries has
pledged support to engage personnel and vehicles to imple-
ment this strategy during the life cycle and propose future
projects to ensure the sustainability of the fruit tree industry
in the region. Among the many benefits of regional coopera-
tion will be technical training, exchange of genetic materials,
market intelligence, and agriculture health & quality assur-
ance.

In accordance with the proposed policy, a working session in
Belize will be convened as soon as possible to discuss/agree
on the implementation mechanism to which Belize will sub-
scribe for the promotion and sustainability of the fruit tree
sector in Belize.


your key to higher yields...









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1. Soil Microbial Innoculant: improve plant nutrient
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1. Plant leaf and root drench technology.
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BelizeAgReport.com 30 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


June-July 2010












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June-July 2olo BelizeAgReport.com 31 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


,1A


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RUNNING W BRAND MEATS
FRYoS "J aust A4s For It"


( ESSED WRD
RUNNING W BRAND
s- 91


Providing delicious and high quality
processed meats and fresh meat cuts
of both Beef and Pork.

Shop at our very own Running W Store and
take advantage of our wholesale prices
on all products.


Mile 63 Western Highway, Cayo District 100%
Tel.: 824-2126/2765, Fax: 824-3522 RELIZEAN
E-mail: runningw@btl.net


June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 32 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






































REPRESENTATIVES OF COMPANIES AND INSTITUTIONS OF THE STATES OF
QUINTANA ROO AND YUCATAN PRESENT AT NATS 2010

1. Mr. Edi Cruz, Monty Industries, Yucatan
2. Mrs. Diane Georgina Carrillo Vega, Phitopharmacos, YucatAn
3. Mrs. Ana Maria Magana Arce, Fiestas Mexicanas, Yucatan
4. Mrs. Maria de los Angeles Poot, Monty Industries, Yucatan
5. Mrs. Norma Cecillia Ctceres Patr6n, Vega Consultores, Yucatan
6. Mr. Daniel Pech Caamal, Sociedad Cooperativa de Producci6n Apicola la Flor del
Tajonal, Quintana Roo
7. Ms. Sonia Kumul, Hidroponia Maya, Quintana Roo
8. Mr. Sealtiel Uriel Goyri Ceballos, Centro Pymexporta Yucatan (Secretaria de
Fomento Econ6mico del Estado de YucatAn), YucatAn
9. Mr. Jose MiguelBuenrostro. Hidroponia Maya, Quintana Roo
10.Emb. Luis Manuel L6pez Moreno. Embassy of Mexico to Belize
1 .Mr. Juan Manuel Saldivar, Embassy of Mexico to Belize
12.Mr. Jos6 Eduardo Moo Pat, Sociedad Cooperativa de Producci6n Apicola la Flor
Del TajonaL Quintana Roo
13.Mr. Freddy Aurelio Ortiz Rodriguez, Botanas y Frituras del Sureste La Lupita /
Representaciones del Sureste, YucatAn
14.Mr. Rafael de Jesis Diaz Martinex. Centro Pymexporta Yucatan (Secretaria de
Fomento Economico del Estado de YucatAn), Yucatan

Also present at the NATS 10:

15.Mr. Chambor Chancayom Yue, YaAx Pepen, Chiapas
16.Dr. Antonio Rico Lomeli, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development,
Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), Quintana Roo
17.Dr. Gabino Galvan. National Service of Health, Safety and Food Quality of
Mexico (SENASICA), Yucatan

June-July 2010 BelizeAgReport.com 33 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize




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