Belize ag report


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Belize ag report
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Belize Ag Report, Beth Roberson
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San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
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University of Florida
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NOV 2013 JAN 2014 1 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Belize Ag Report Belizes most complete independent agricultural publication NOV 2013 JAN 2014 ISSUE 23 pg. 16 Cohune Stove pg. 3 Field Margins pg. 18 Panela pg. 21 BGGA on Corn pg. 17 Mamey Sapote pg. 22 Citrus Industry pg. 5 Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer Rice Field Day Pg. 12 57 ac Farm US$ 275 K668-0749 / 663-6777 FARM LISTINGS See pg. 2 & 26 Home with Pool


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 2 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Come enjoy our tropical plant collection which in addition to Vanilla and Black Pepper, includes Cardamom, Clove, Nutmeg, Cashew, Rambuttan, Sapote, Anjili, Bilimbi, Carambola, Nellipuli, Jackfruit, Mangos, Jatropha and many flowering plants too many to list!Tours are open to the public!!! Belize Spice Farm & Botanical Gardens Belize Spice Farm & Botanical GardensCome and visit the largest Vanilla & Black Pepper farm in Belize!!! Golden Stream, Southern Highway, Toledo District 221 km, or approximately 3 hours drive from Belize City (501) 732 4014 Nursery plants on sale til end of Chocolate Festival May 26th As a small company, we personalize our service to both buyer and seller. 668-0749 / 663-6777 Land is our language TM We speak farm land and river land We are involved in agriculture so we are familiar with local issues and understand agricultural concerns. We have buyers/renters for farmland. Let us know if have land to sell or rent. S L


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 3 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belizes Green Coal: The Multi-Purpose Cohune NutBy Dottie FeuchtThe cohune palm tree, Attalea cohune, familiar to Belizeans, produces a nut about 6 inches in diameter in huge heavy clusters, weighing about 100 pounds. One tree can have several of these clusters. The nuts have been used by the Mayas, and in more modern times, by other Belizeans for fuel and oil. The kernels are 65 to 70 percent oil, but they amount to about 6% commercial oil recovery has been relatively undeveloped. Peter extraction system using a conventional oil expressor. First the nuts need be heat treated to loosen the meat from the shell or they are impossible to extract. Properly heated, the nut falls from the shell when the shell is properly split. Peter used to set them out in the hot sun on a black tarpaulin for four days or so, where the mid-day sun on a black surface reached temperatures 145 150F. Others boil them for 30 minutes, hot, put in the nuts and cover them with soil to process the next day. practice to develop that skill. After the nut is cracked it must be waste factor in terms of labor, heating, cracking and weight yield reduction. The resulting nut meat can go directly to the oil expressor for oil to about 140 F, but in Peters process where they are passed Peter, an engineer by background, further experimented with cohune nuts. He built a stove to burn the nuts proving that the burn and top draft burning, as they do for burning bagasse in the big cane factory furnaces, which will prevent pots from blackening. The stove is called dual chamber because one cooks the fuel chambers are thick layered with refractory (material that retains chamber, the gas burning chamber, gets very hot and stays that way, which greatly increases ease of combustion and combustion up into the second upper chamber, which is red hot, and real combustion of gases occurs. Although it can work after being warmed up on natural draft alone Peter says hed like to have an about 10 pounds of cohune nuts to start the stove. When he wants transport cohune nuts. On the other hand, commercial production of cohune oil is so obtained free of cost. currently working on using cohune nuts whole for thermal energy.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 4 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize TO THE EDITOREditor's note: The Belize Ag Report acknowledges and respects the need for dialogue among the agricultural community. Publication of a letter or an article does not indicate endorsement by The Belize Ag Report of the views and content therein. Biologically Appropriate Technology or GMO Biologically appropriate technology is designed to do no harm to over GMO corn as existed in the nuclear debate. The parallels lie in how the public was sold on nuclear power back when there was concern that nuclear power might not be biologically appropriate technology. Touted as being safe, clean, and too cheap to turned out to be an expensive environmental nightmare, costing trillions, and many lives. Safely dealing with nuclear waste is still environmental disaster contaminating water daily with ionizing When there is controversy regarding a technology, it would seem best to stay on the side of caution. So, we ask ourselves, is genetically technology? Those who gain the dollars from having mass control over the worlds food production view it as appropriate. Those have created do all they can to stop GMO corn from tainting the is designed to cross pollinate and then take over a species of plants, not unlike an invasive. Those who will pay the higher cost in health, dollars, and labor will view GMO with a skeptic eye just as farmers across the globe now tied even more tightly to a system that forces them to use remedies that destroy the soil and water, kill bees, birds, and other food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls especially the life of the farmer. Several examples of biologically appropriate technology for land plant material in special ovens or underground, creating a carbon-based soil amendment that serves the soil for hundreds Sustainable agriculture should be sustainable for the people not we keep Belize pure and free from the stranglehold of U.S. and multinational corporations, or do we allow it to be swallowed up by the tsunami of greed and bad for the environment technology that has negatively impacted so many other countries? There is a growing body of evidence to substantiate the huge problems others have experienced by buying into the sales pitch of Monsanto and Syngenta. Karin Westdyk agriculture and at the same time experimenting with different methods of growing grains, fruit trees, herbs, and vegetables. relationship to agriculture in Belize. The Belize Ag Report is the only local attempt to try and disseminate knowledge to Belizean farmers. So, readers please continue to support this newsletter. Sincerely, Bill Lindo ********************************************************** Great Stuff rave that he never could have thought that Belizean agriculture refused to do anything but read it stating that he had never seen Belize Ag Report before. Keep up the great work! Kudos! Raves! ********************************************************** Thank you very much for the opportunity to express my views on the hotly debated and divisive topic of GMOs. While much accusations have been made against those in favour of GMOs, the anti-GMO lobby has gotten much more attention and publicity in Belize than the pro-GMO lobby. One of the primary reasons for this is that farmers are not known to speak out publicly as they are busy trying to sustain their livelihoods and feeding those who are not producing their own food. to use advances in modern biotechnology or GMOs to improve their production and address some of the many problems faced by corn farmers. GMO technology is being used commercially in the three (3) top corn producing countries, namely the USA, Argentina and Brazil, to control insect problems in corn and to improve weed control. More importantly is that promising results are being obtained by scientists who are experimenting nitrogen from the air, much in the same way that Red Kidney ing corn will reduce the need for commercial nitrogen fertilizers and this will have a positive impact on the environment, including reducing its contribution to the greenhouse effect. Other characteristics such as improved nutritional content tein etc), improved yields and the ability of corn to grow under very dry climates, or in very poor soils, are also being developed through GMO technology. Continued on Page 26


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 5 Harvesting Ag News from All of BelizeMission Statement:The Belize Ag Report is an independent bi-monthly agriculture newsletter. Our purpose is to collect, edit and disseminate information useful to the Belizean producer, large or small. We invite opinions on issues, which are not necessarily our own. Belize Ag neither solicits nor accepts political ads. The Belize Ag Report (please, no text, no voicemail) Submissions as follows: publication. Positive Changes In The Citrus IndustryBy Fernando Majil, General Manager, FreshWater Creek Farms, Ltd.Email:; Tel: (011-501) 667-7279 marks its 100th has grown to be of major economic importance in Belize. There are now about 45,000 acres of citrus groves and the indirectly 50,000 people. many of the same challenges as other agricultural sectors including increased costs of fuel and fertilizers, global changes disasters and climate change, and pests and diseases. The industry has survived Huanglonbing (HLB). This disease is spread by an insect (Diaphorina citri). The disease is also spread from infected propagation materials in citrus nurseries. then it has spread to many groves, mainly in the Stann declining, many trees have died and some groves have been totally removed. This past year witnessed a decline in fruit production up to 50% countrywide and Greening was a major factor. and expand? Floridas growers have changed their growing practices because of Greening. Belize has relied less on pesticides than have U.S. growers, but one practice we have in must be grown under controlled conditions. This practice is Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) before they can be sold Past practices saw citrus seedlings and grafting of plants being Seedlings would be planted directly in the ground or in large growing beds. Not anymore! All aspects of growing citrus trees for planting must occur in protective screen houses with double entry doors so that no psyllids can enter. Seeds make sure they are pathogen-free and grown under controlled conditions. There is a debate over whether Greening bacteria can be transferred by seed, but nobody wants to take chances where it concerns a relatively small cost in the growing of healthy trees. Once seedlings have germinated inside a screen house, they must be transplanted into bags or containers inside the screen houses controlled environment. All other growing activities such as grafting, spacing, weeding, culling and sorting must take place inside the screen house where space is limited nurseries in Belize to clean citrus plants and is committed to bringing innovative and positive changes to the citrus industry. We are changing to U.S. growing practices and expect to produce 100,000 citrus plants which will be Continued on Page 7


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 6 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize pressure on crops and trees. We also know that the calcium to magnesium ratio is very important. This very important knowledge farmers obtain from the petroleum engineers, geologists and geo-chemists of the oil industry. They were always drilling holes full of clay, mud and water. They discovered that the stickiness or non-stickiness of the soil was mostly due to the heavy clay soils. and its connection to tachyons, magnetic monopoles and Gods scientists. The Belizean farmers interest is how they can use his high yielding crop economically. The Belizean farmer must understand that his farm MUST have energy to break-down limestone. A fertilizers job is to provide energy, but it is important not to use fertilizers that harm or kill the soil. Second, the soil must contain the foundation minerals, calcium and phosphorous. Nature has given the farmers very few soils fertilizers cannot supply the foundation minerals economically and they may kill the soil. The sources to mineralize the soil with foundation minerals come from crushed limestone, soft rock phosphate, and sometimes gypsum. The third essential of soil mineralization is humus and biology. All soils must live and breathe. A dead soil produces dead foods that cause malnutrition in animals and humans. Products that keep a soil alive include manures, compost, humates, bio-stimulants, and enzymes. The fourth is the trace elements such as nickel, iodine, cobalt, etc. Supply of these are from sulfates, various rock powders, chelates and sea minerals. once had these properties but rain and irrigation depleted it. Rock dust is an easy way to replace this magic element in the soil. of that food will need not worry about diseases associated with malnutrition heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis. How much sense does it make to use drugs and surgery to treat malnutrition? bilindo2001@gmail.comThe Soil & AgricultureBy Bill LindoAgriculture as we know it has been with us for over eight thousand to three thousand years ago. These ancient peoples knew how to grow healthy crops with high yields and feed some 50,000 to 300,000 persons in cities with very good sanitation and running lost to humanity because their civilizations collapsed. Hansel both of Germany brought science back into agriculture made the very important discovery in soil science, the role of the in modern soil science textbooks. and Linus Pauling. Tesla gave humanity our entire worldwide communicate, para-magnetic soils for super growth of plants, and physical proof of the connection between tachyons, magnetic father of modern chemistry. A writer said that because Pauling and Mullis both won Nobel prizes, the million dollars took a bit of the sting out of being shunned by the textbook writers. always telling students about the dead battery in the soil. Both soils (on the LaMotte soil test). Reams, because he lived and worked in Florida which has vast phosphate deposits, was able know much about phosphorus in the soil. For instance, we do not know why phosphorous, an anion, does not leach like other anions such as sulfur or chlorine. The little we know is from the knows next to nothing about phosphorus because it cannot help very much the bottom-line of big corporations. The mind-set of the school teachers, their publications, and of the corporations are based on what we call the ash-mentality. They take a crop, burn it to ash then measure how much of the elements such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur is in the ash sample. This simplistic method forgets that nature in not linear. Phosphorus but because it cycles, an ash test cannot give a correct indication. Belize has a severe shortage of phosphorus in most of its soils. sources cause problems in the soil of the farm. We know about calcium because of the experiments and visions of Albrecht and Reams, namely, that the lack of calcium is a major cause of insects, weeds and disease Farmers! Now Available in BelizeSOFT ROCK PHOSPHATE Call: Mei Lin or Bill @ 223-2526, 624-0974, 602-2993


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 7 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Feed the Soil Theme of 2013 Organic FairThe old method of slash and burn for farming is being replaced with slash and mulch by the farmers have seen the dramatic increase in corn crop yields in side-by-side the experiment reported at the 5th annual Organic Fair held in Punta Gorda on October 25 and 26 also included increases in organic matter, water retention and carbon content of the soil based on soil analysis before and after the experiment. The theme, Feed the Soil, was emphasized by every speaker southern Belize is being enriched by reforestation (223 acres), cover crops, and alley cropping (growing crops in between which are pruned regularly to allow exposure to sun). Mucuna beans are advocated as the primary cover crop, which can add as much as 30 tons per hectare of organic matter to the soil. organic ingredients and methods were also described. of the event, awarded many useful farming tools and magazine subscriptions which were donated (whose son Fred accepted them on his fathers behalf), Pedro Teul from Toledo, and Merceda Pau, Citrus...Continued from Page 5 grown in containers on tables rather than in bags now place the clean seeds directly into small 2 x bad plants to be easily screened out. The smallest seedlings are transferred to special 4 x 14 deep plastic citrus pots. These pots are also grown on specially constructed tables. They can be easily sorted, moved, grafted and spaced. When the plants are ready they are sold in their pots (with a refundable pot deposit). Another advantage of using this system is that loading, unloading and placing in the plants at a time and delivery trucks can transport at least three times the normal number of plants. There can still be a bright future for the Belize citrus industry but positive changes must occurfrom growing the healthiest plants in the nursery to carrying out challenges presented by the Greening disease and the other contemporary challenges of growing citrus, many traditional


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 8 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize BEYOND THE BACKYARDA Grain of TruthBy Jenny WildmanWe have become used to the labels fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, nut free gluten free seems to be the latest trend. On the one hand we realize that the food industry something is inevitable. On the other hand we must consider the fact that incorrect labeling or secret ingredients for some people can become a matter of life and death. At a recent cocktail party two people said they were allergic to shrimp, one to oysters, two to nuts, one is lactose intolerant, one to the polymers of surgical gloves and four out of the ten were on gluten free diets. One may have celiac disease and the others were advised to try avoiding gluten the sticky protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, malt and rye. They reported that they felt so much better in many ways, regained a waistline, thought more clearly and eliminated joint pain. Other gluten related conditions such as gluten ataxia can affect the brain and create neurological problems. A gluten free diet has been found to be useful in the treatment wash can contain wheat germ, barley or rye and since the skin is the largest organ of the body it could be adversely affected. Surprisingly cigarettes may also contain gluten either from plant contamination or from the wheat processing of the papers. Gluten was discovered by Buddhist monks seeking supplemental many processed foods including imitation meats and self basting poultry. Anyone handling food should understand a known allergen is ingested by the unsuspecting recipient. work surfaces and care must be taken not to mistakenly add an unwanted ingredient. have been diagnosed it does not mean you must avoid all grains and starches. Amaranth must be cooked not eaten raw. There are many plants in this is a hardy crop that is easy to harvest and has multiple uses. is easily digestible. This plant is gaining a lot of notoriety as together for a nutritious mix. Arrowroot is a starch made from the tubers of tropical plant where we Brits developed a fondness for its mild taste in little biscuits along with afternoon tea. Makes a sort of bland cookie often given to infants and invalids but since it is all carbohydrate agent for sauces and pies. Buckwheat. be allergic to buckwheat. Cassava is a good source of carbohydrates in the tropics and throughout the world but lacking in protein and other Chia the chia pet. Chick peas or garbanzos are rich in protein and can be made Corn or maize appears to have developed from the wild ingredient for gluten free cooking. Flax seeds can be added for micronutrients, omega 3 essential Hemp seeds provide good fats to the diet, are rich in vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, have a pleasing nutty taste and appear to be allergen free. Millet the discovery that it was not just for the birds. Oats. Although gluten free in their pure form oats are often grown on the same land as wheat and can have cross contamination there or in the processing facility. Potatoes alternative to wheat. Quinoa seeds but is not a grass and therefore not a grain. Thought to have magical power, chenopodium was banned from growing Ramon, breadnut or Maya nut comes from the stately yaxox tree and is a very versatile food for humans and jungle creatures. rainforest garden and therefore not exposed to pesticides and chemical fertilizers Rice brown, white, long grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine, wild rice, red rice all are considered gluten free. (The term glutinous rice just means it is sticky when cooked therefore Continued on Page 9


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 9 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize A Grain of Truth... Continued from Page 8Sesame seeds can be added for additional value and taste. Sorghum. for my chickens. Grain sorghum is also called milo but not to be barley and wheat and therefore contains gluten. Sorghum is consumed by humans in many countries and principally fed to takes longer to cook but it is nutritious and delicious. Sorghum is the main ingredient in gluten free beer. Tapioca is a starch derived from manioc or cassava roots. Tapioca pearls may look like grain but are created by pushing the starch and stick to real taro root. Teff attribute their health and ability to teff, also known as lovegrass. This really is true and because of its versatility and proven track bring on the teff. We do not know if allergies have risen because of change in seed and chemicals but the USA statistics say 1% of the population has celiac disease and gluten intolerance affects 10% of the population and if undiagnosed the problem can lead to gastrointestinal and other malignancies. So it is no wonder there is a trend to seek alternatives. Farmers are recognizing this and moving to gluten free crops to deal with the growing demand. Most of these products most of them in a health store in Belmopan. not on a restricted diet it is good to try new foods, give your body a break and it helps to be better informed if a loved one develops an allergy. For gluten free foods you generally cannot go wrong with vegetables. Here are foods that can contain gluten and for some should your own gluten free with a combination of baking soda, cream of soy and wheat (so look for Tamari sauce instead and check label for caramel colouring which contains gluten.) is possible that a very small trace of gluten could be present. We have seen eggs saying soy free so perhaps gluten free will be next. on same griddle as the pancakes. The word free has many connotations and is grossly over used in marketing, often making us skeptical of its validity. Would you believe that the word free has its roots in a word meaning to love ? Hopefully by understanding our friends' needs we will do just that. For information you would like to share you can reach me at


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 10 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Agro-Processing Project ReviewBy Dottie FeuchtAgro-Processing, one of the four core projects of the Technical Mission of The Republic of September 6, 2013 at the pavilion of the National Ag and Trade Show (NATS) grounds in Belmopan. that supported the school lunch program in Belize 2006 to 2010, (2) organizing and training over 21 groups (over 600 women) that have been formed throughout the country over the last 7 years, (3) science lectures and practice courses) for over 420 students in 5 and (4) initiating and technically supporting products, some of ginger, pineapple yogurt jam, dehydrated mango, and the very successful soy sauce which is produced by the womens groups served for a snack to the attendees were really appreciated on groups, complemented the traditional Belizean lunch. Mr. Fernando Yeh, Head of TTM, expressed the goal of turning over the project to Belize by the end of 2013. Mr. Henry encouraged the participants to make plans to export the products to other countries in participants, emphasizing that the government of Belize wants to help people who want to have their own businesses. He outlined support to the entrepreneurship program with links to the appropriate government agency for safety standards, food handling, organizational structure, marketing and exporting. TTM does the training and technical assistance with help from Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) reiterated MNRA and TTM has resulted in building facilities such as (1) the center in 2012. The lab is used for developing and providing the cultures, bacteria or other microorganisms source ingredients developed the lab will provide technical assistance for each step of the manufacturing and export process. According to Mr. Huang, the products of the project are chosen by combining willing workers with entrepreneurial aspirations and resources available in the geographic areas of the group formations and enterprises. Besides the products on display cassava powder, soy bean milk, bread and cakes. These and other products are chosen and made in various local food factories by community womens groups all around the country. training spans college and university levels with food science and information technology classes which are divided into specialized food preparation, making products such as yogurt jams, agro-instant powder (cacao instant powder), soy bean products and preparing restaurant food and beverages. The focus of vocational training is to match Future plans of the project include upgrading the community income program with web sites of agro-processing information and recipes for the women's groups and continuing the support of soy sauce production with technical assistance and help in market! TAIWAN


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 11 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Soil Structure, Strength and ConsistencyBy Harold Vernon (e-mail: major objective in preparing the soil for the cultivation of any crop is having good soil preparation as the medium for plant growth. We can have good soil and make it poor as well as poor soil and make it good. Aside from the fertility which is a measure of the chemical nutrients, we need to create favourable physical conditions for the plants. These conditions are consistency, soil strength and soil structure. These three characteristics of good soils allow the presence and movement of air and water in the soil as well as provide structure creates a good environment for the holding of water and air in the soil. Ploughing, harrowing and other forms of tillage are merely the mechanical means for the creation of these favourable soil conditions. We refer to the chemical or mineral makeup of the soil as the consistency or soil texture, that is, the amount of sand, silt and clay that are the inorganic constituents. Soil texture is the commonly associated term for the feel and includes soil properties such as friability, plasticity, stickiness and resistance to compression and shear. Pedogenic slickensides contraction in expansive clay soils such as vertisols or heavy clay, limestone derived soils. We refer to soil consistency by at which soil consistency changes from friable to plastic and is the minimum moisture level at which a soil can be puddled value of the water content at which soil cohesion is so reduced to the sticky point which is the water content at which a dry soil, when slowly wetted begins to adhere to a dry surface. We have all experienced soils sticking to shovels and implements, a nightmare of clogging when mechanical disturbance is attempted. Mechanical disturbance of the soil seeks to breakdown the larger soil clumps or masses into smaller units or peds A good ped is that unit of soil that is of an appropriate size to have an optimized rooting medium featuring microstructures and micropores. The size, shape and stability of the peds and their capacity for being penetrated by air, water and roots are the foundations of soil structure. Soil structure is a very important consideration in growing crops and is not only a function of the physical makeup of the soil but also the chemical makeup. The chemical makeup is a direct result of the parent minerals that compose the rocks. Softer minerals weather faster and come to predominate in the mineral composition of the soil. Limestone is a comparatively soft rock and is formed from the shells and bones of animals. Limestone also dissolves and reforms, leading to soils that have a high pH and too highly dense structures. Soil strength is the capacity of the soil structures to be held together due to internal forces and their resistance to being broken up, being forced together, incorporating water, all of which affect the soil density. the more clay there is, the more stable the structure. Sands tend to be loose or very friable while silts form thick, impervious produce very stable structures. Better developed, more stable structures are associated with free calcium carbonate or gypsum. Good drainage assists structure formation although in breakdown of the structures resulting in loose topsoils, sandy or silty textured soils, or a hard surface or capping in high clay content soils. What does all this mean? (1) soils with appropriate amounts of sand, silt, clay and organic matter always seek to incorporate organic matter.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 12 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Thiessen Liquid Fertilizers Rice TrialsRice production is expanding in greater Spanish Lookout and 4,000 acres currently under cultivation by the Mennonites. Thiessen product versus those receiving traditional dry fertilizers. 6.6 1. measured by volume not pound.) The rice which received 2. 3. heavier grain yielding the heavier bushels, with less moisture and lower fertilizer cost was still the winner. detailed report on the rice industry in Western Belize. irrigation. Editors Note : David Thiessen of Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer and Jerry Friesen, head of the new Spanish Lookout rice producers co-op kindly provided this data to B. Roberson. PLANT LOCATION: Route 20 East Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, Belize Currently Bel-Cars main exporting products are corn meal, corn grits, and dry edible beans. It has Black Eye Beans, Light Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, and Small Red Beans available at most times. MAILING ADDRESS: BEL-CAR EXPORT & IMPORT COMPANY LTD. Box 578, Spanish Lookout, Belize, Central America CONTACTS: Tel:501-823-0318 / 501-823-0271 Fax:501-823-0136


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 13 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize International Promotion of Agricultural SMEsBy Feucht/Roberson Agriculture is the most important economic sector in Belize in terms of income generation, employment, food security and poverty alleviation. WORLD BANK government assistance in the export of their products in accordance with the policy passed in 2013. The workshop on the stakeholders to report on and discuss the opportunities, successes, and challenges of agricultural exportation. For an inside venue there was an enormous amount of planting those enterprises. US$100,000 $3M in sales. Medium enterprises have 50 250 employees, US$3M $15M in assets and US$3M $15M not linked to the export market. Those are the enterprises the GOB policy is focusing on. The link, it was emphasized, organizations to reduce export costs and address a broad Mexico, described the steps involved and services (initial ones free) available from his organization to farmers to address as a machine for export promotion offering specialized services do not. Also, business contracts are done by the individual companies. Continued on page 23 BEL-CAR UPDATESLower Prices but Record 1.3M Cwt. Corn Harvest for Greater Spanish Lookout/Banana Bank FarmsCORN: sacks) harvested from combined acreages of Spanish Lookouts Mennonite farmers and Banana Bank. Shortly after farmers harvested the final acreages from the approximately 30,000 acres, rains pelted the area flooding bridges and closing roads. The corn this year had been a little later than normal by about 1-2 weeks, due to later planting than usual (weather related). been more affected, due to unusual weather, for example, rains coming prior to harvesting at the end of September. The yields There was not much overlap between last years corn crop and Rd. They are all loaded, fumigated, inspected and sealed by Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and ready for the cranes to move them to the port. Most will be exported to Guyana and Surinam. The price of Belize corn is currently feels that the prices will certainly rebound for next years corn season, as many US farmers are balking and threaten not to plant corn next year unless their prices are increased. BEANS: Red Kidney (RK) beans will be planted toward the last weeks. There may be a slight increase in planting RKs and current planting ratios would be good, as sales go in waves and what was slower one year may be in more demand the next. Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section, page 15. NEW EQUIPMENT moisture tester, which is state-of-the-art, National Test and and reported by Beth Roberson. Ministry of Foreign A airs


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 14 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 15 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Agriculture Prices at a Glance$$$$$ 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 days (L) Lower (S) Steady. Prices intend on being farm gate in Belize dollars usually price per lb NOV 2013 T A BTA B BELIZE CATTLE GRAINS, BEANS & RICEYoung strs. & bulls 750-1100 lbsL1.70 1.80 1.60 1.70 Belize yellow cornL.22 .23 .20 .22 Cows & heifers for butchersL1.45 (thin) 1.40 White corn/cwtH30.00 35.00 delivered Heifers for breeding 500-800 lbsS1.50 1.35 1.45 Corn/local retail (low volume)L.30 .32 .27 .29 Young grass cattle 350-650 lbsHstrs. 1.80 Heifers 1.45 US corn @ US$ 4.43per 56 lb bshlL$ BZ 15.82/cwt + 8 frt. to BZU.S. CATTLEUS organic corn yellow food grade US$ 11.50/bshl$ BZ 41.07/cwt U.S. price corn fed 1000-1200 lbs H US$ 1.32US organic corn yellow feed grade US$ 10.12/bshl$ BZ 36.14/cwt U.S. price feeders 600-800 lbs H US$ 1.66US non-GMO yellow corn US$ 5.34 7.62/bshl$ BZ 18.56 27.22/cwt U.S. price aged butcher cows L US$ 0.70 0.74 Guatemala corn price/PetenL.22 .23 .21 .22 Belize soy beans/cwtH.59 .57BELIZE HOGSUS soy beans @ US$ 13.10 per 60 lb bshlL$ BZ 43.66/cwt + 8 frt. to BZ Weaner pigs 25-30 lbs by the headS$90.00 $100.00 Belize miloL.20 .22 .19 .21 Butcher pigs 160 230 lbsS1.75 1.85 1.65 1.75 Red kidney beansH1.75 farm priceBELIZE SHEEPLittle reds & black beansS1.50 1.60 farm price Butcher LambsL2.00 2.25 1.50 1.75 Black eyed peasS.65 .67 farm price Mature EwesL1.75 1.50 Milled rice per poundH.82 .91 farm prices, distribution .97-1.01BELIZE CHICKEN SUGAR/HONEYWhole sale dressedS2.44 White sugar 112 lbs controlledS.45 per bag + 3-5 cents markup Broilers live per lbS1.27 Brown sugar 112 lbs controlledS.39 per bag + 3-5 cents markup Spent hensS.95 Honey per lb (Cayo) 2.50 (approximately 12 lbs/gal)VEGETABLES SPECIAL FARM ITEMSLocal Potatoes lbS/L1.00 1.10 .80 1.00 Eggs tray of 30S6.75 farm price; retail .30 .33 per egg Local Onions lbH/L1.00 1.20 .80 WD milk per lb to farmerScontract .50; non contract .45CITRUSRaw milk (farmer direct sales) 8.50 gal (5 gal + 8.00 gal) Oranges per 90 lb box-lb. solid basisH Grapefruit per 90 lb boxL At the Belize Ag Report, we have always considered gate prices to the farmer to be the heart of the paper. Special thanks to the persons assisting with pricing information, and Thank you for your support and interest in our publication. We send you all joyous and productive wishes for the winter. Beth Roberson


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 16 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Bird Watch From My PerchBy Marguerite F BevisMigratory birds are arriving daily from the North. You can use e-Bird (Bird Log) to enter the birds you see. This information data becomes available to birders all around the globe. With more and more people using this global database, scientists are learning more about migratory patterns and about the abundance or decline of individual species. There is a world can also select the pin icon for a look at all the recent sightings and their locations. There is a link to notable sightings on the be able to see when and where they were seen. Once you have iBird Pro is a superior application for studying birds, listening to their songs, looking at photos, range maps and getting good descriptions. However, the app covers only birds of North and listen to the songs. This app is not tied into the e-Bird their maps do not even show Belize. They are developing an BirdLog, but again, only migratory birds of Belize are included. for download links for other operating systems. There is a mailing list for Belize birders on where local birders exchange information, share interesting sightings, or post pictures of mystery birds to get help identifying them. One of the members posted an interesting article from Science News, September 21, 2013 ( windows safer for birds. You can read it yourself but here are windows can attract birds. Window screens can help prevent bird collisions. Washable tempura paints provide a simple through a space less than 4 inches wide between vertical stripes or 2 inches high between. Stripes or dots on the outside of spaced no more than 4 inches apart, horizontal lines, 2 inches or less. Single decals are not helpful. Bird feeders placed closer to windows resulted in fewer bird collisions than those placed further away. Glass companies are working to develop glass with clean water (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water), changing several visiting daily, but nowhere near the numbers we were At one point we began having trouble with bees. Bees would the bees were going to one of the two kinds of feeders. They call Bee Gone. To make it use a small amount of dish-soap with water, add a few drops of orange essential oil mixed together in a spray bottle. Spray directly on the feeders. The remove the Perky-Pet feeders completely. Suddenly the bees problems. They need to stay up because the orioles prefer them. The feeders that the birds love and bees do not prefer are made by a company called First Nature and are available on the web for about US $11 plus shipping at and other locations.Continued on page 17


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 17 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Development of CornBy Hugh OBrienBelize Grain Growers Association dawn of agriculture. The wild ancestor of corn for example is a grass called teosinte. Teosinte doesnt look much like corn, especially when you compare its kernels to those of corn, but They have the same number of chromosomes and a remarkably with modern corn varieties to form corn-teosinte hybrids that can go on to reproduce naturally. At the dawn of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, ancient domesticating corn when they simply chose which kernels (seeds) to plant. These farmers noticed that not all plants were better or were easier to grind. The farmers saved seeds from the plants they liked and planted them for the next seasons of seeds, eventually taking on the form of modern corn. By selectively breeding plants, our predecessors transformed a scraggly and inedible grass called teosinte to the large, plump, colorful and nutrient rich corn plant. Modern maize or corn cannot survive as a wild plant without depended solely on the care given by man. Selective breeding eventually reached its limits, and as a result, yields during the technological advance of hybrid corn made by Pioneer in the next few decades. contributed to moderate yield increases as it took seven or more generations (or 7 years) to create new inbred lines. However, Please support the GPMP-FRI in your district! Bird Watch...Continued from page 16 The most common hummingbird is the Rufous-tail, but during migration, you may have Ruby-throated and Black-chinned feeder. Many migrants are already trained to go to feeders in will notice those foreign birds enjoying the strange-looking you might attract any number of resident species. Next article will be an update on the Scarlet Macaw, their status, what is being done, and how you can help. Please send a message to if you have any interesting birding news or comments. Bird Photos Credit J. Carridi produce inbred corn lines, and the use of double cross hybrids, America was raised from hybrid seed, and today average corn is a prime example of technology transfer from basic research corn is one of the greatest marketing success stories of all time. Using hybrid corn seed technology means that each corn plant is almost exactly the same as the plant next to it (ie. it has almost the same genetic makeup). As a result, farmers are unable to and they have to purchase seeds every year from Pioneer and other corn seed companies. This has been the case in the US and is the same case with mechanized corn in Belize since the farmers in Belize have been buying corn seed each year for over 40 years.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 18 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Commercial Farming is the FutureBy Maruja VargasWish to silence environmental critics lambasting the foul of commercial farming and Looking to contribute to increasing global demand for food while protecting land, water and biodiversity? alongside intensive the future method of farming if we are to double global food production by 2050 while protecting land, water resources, soils and biodiversity for future generations of farmers. the 21st century has been implemented and documented for several decades. only contributes to water protection and increased biodiversity, dispersal thus reducing the need for costly toxic herbicides. which allow some of the land to remain unplanted, could act as a reservoir for weed germination and increase their dispersal found the set-aside land resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of weeds encroaching into the cropped area. deemed to be weeds have only small seeds and limited energy reserves, they struggle to compete against grass species that can be planted by the farmers as part of the SGS system. Most of the species are not able to germinate on the surface of seeds are more sensitive to predation (from birds, etc.) and Field margins properly managed reduce soil erosion, protect birds with insects as a food source. Field margins planted with grasses, for example, are managed without fertilizer and no tillage, and the grass may be cut for hay each year. Field margins often contain many trees and hedges to create valuable wildlife corridors which link together habitats throughout the farm. Margins can be managed to provide diverse wildlife corridors where animals can feed and move in safety across the farm, from invertebrates to deer. When planted correctly, margins can provide corridors of movement for mammals, preventing negative effects on gene pools when small groups of animals are isolated. Further, by planning with local authorities and the eco-tourism that help raise the awareness of the public about how care for the countryside and agricultural productivity can work together. system of the future. agri-environmental measures. The UK has mandated by law the implementation of multifunctional margins for weed control, ecological reasons such as increase in pollinators, good predators and wild life, especially endangered bird populations. A comment from US zoologist visiting Belize in summer 2013 stated, This place will soon become a desert if more trees are example. Banana Bank has incorporated some contoured drainage of the black clay soil there. The proactive management of less productive and marginal areas on commercial farms is one of the most important environmental assets agriculture can provide to take care of our sustainable farming system of the future.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 19 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Competency Based Education Training (CBET) at Central farm.By Patricia BidartBow Valley College, Calgary, Alberta, CANADA. provides learners with the skills needed to perform well in their given industry. Learners need to know what is expected of them, employers need to know what skills their employees have, and instructors need to plan their courses and lessons so as to include these Farm, University of Belize. The facilitators provided sessions on active learning strategies to assist instructors in moving at times from a lecture format to an interactive applied format in teaching. The facilitators were very pleased with the passion and energy of the 27 trainers who completed the course.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 20 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize blemishes, fungal infections, wounds and sores. Some precancerous lesions and moles may begin to disappear with regular use. very helpful for insect bites you receive before you think to put it on. All you need is one product for both bites and prevention. than any other fat or food, and it elevates metabolism levels. As metabolism levels rise, calories burn faster. More calories burned means fewer calories converted into body fat. On the other hand, people who are malnourished become healthier and gain weight when coconut oil is added to their diet. The less body fat you have, out coconut is ideal for helping you reach and maintain your optimal weight. oil to a meal. This enhances the protective properties while providing easily digestible fatty acids necessary for growth and development. Low birth weight infants given coconut oil in their formula grow faster and have a higher survival rate. Those who use coconut oil daily externally and internally report There is much to learn about this miracle oil. Recommended is the primary source for this article. Thank you, Mr. Fife for giving permission to use the illustration from your book. information here is not intended to substitute for medical care.Homemade Health Coconut OilBy Marguerite Fly Bevis, R.N., B.S.N. be virgin cold-pressed coconut oil. This one substance is a superrashes, burns and wounds. Used internally, it boosts metabolism and shifts energy levels into high gear. Unlike caffeine, the effects are gradual but not addictive. What makes coconut oil so special? The difference is in the fat molecules that make up the oil. All fats and oils are composed of fat molecules known as fatty acids. Most of us are familiar with one way of classifying fatty acids, fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Another way to classify fatty acids is based on the size of the molecule, the length of the carbon chain within the fatty acid. There are short-chain are the combination of three fatty acids, which are joined together Our bodies metabolize fatty acids differently depending on their water. This means that enzymes from the pancreas are not necessary for their digestion. digested, the bonds holding the individual fatty acids together are broken. The individual fatty acids are absorbed into the intestinal wall where they are bundled into little packets of fat and protein called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins then pass into the bloodstream where they circulate throughout the body. While circulating, small particles of fats break off in the bloodstream. These fats end up in fat source of many health problems. Medium-chain triglycerides travel through the stomach but are already broken down into individual fatty acids before they leave absorbed immediately into the portal vein and sent directly to the bypass the lipoprotein stage in the intestine and the liver, they do not circulate in the blood to the extent the others do. As a result, they do not get lodged inside fat cells or clog artery walls. They produce against sunburn and against cancer. Unlike sunscreen, coconut oil


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 21 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize PANELA EVAPORATED CANE JUICE(That Healthy Molasses Fudge) By Beth Roberson panela production and it in most of Latin America with exceptions of Brazil where it is called rapadura, chancaca in the Andes, papeln in nd in world nd leading rural vocation (after coffee cultivation). Panelas precursor, fresh cane juice, is making its mark in trendy North American raw cane juice bars, and we expect savvy Belizean establishments to be serving it as well. Sugar cane is believed to have originated in New Guinea likes the humid tropics but tolerates some sub-tropical areas. Sugar cane produces more calories per acre than any other crop Panela is a value-added sugar cane product. Sugar cane, used as the species name in the Linneal binomial system of plant taxonomy, that indicates that its one of over 60 plants designated this way as medicinal. Sugar cane was originally known for its healing, medicinal have corrupted and maligned sugarcane, destroying its lofty original reputation and relegated it to being renown primarily Medicinal uses include treatments for digestive disorders, has been used for millennia and continues to be used to treat wounds. The explanation for its effectiveness is that bacteria bacteria their needed water. Panela also contains vitamins A, used in facials and masks because the glycolic acid in it purportedly slows aging of the skin. Panela offers over 5 times the minerals that brown sugar copper, zinc, and manganese. Panelas rich mineral contents remind one of alfalfa as alfalfas roots encounter their mineral he reported that sugar canes roots can grow to a depth of 6 between commercial and home plots? raise blood sugar levels) is another factor making panela one of the healthier sweetener choices. Panela is a combination of sugar removes almost all the fructose and glucose, leaving almost solely sucrose. That is why white sugars glycemic GLYCEMIC INDEX for Some SweetenersAgave Syrup15Panela55Raw Honey306235Brown Sugar6443Pastuerized Honey75Maple Syrup54White Sugar kind of mill or trapiche. The bagasse (spent husks) left after juice is simmered in copper caldrons slowly evaporating removed from the top. When ready, if a wooden mold is to be used, the mold is saturated with water immediately before pouring the molten sugar syrup into it. This saturation prevents the panela from sticking to the wood. The large and irregularly shaped panela crystals melt in your mouth, as maple sugar candy does, which is why we overwhelming as molasses and its a very complex blend of as in beans, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. Many say that they use lesser amounts of panela when making substitutions, pieces we found locally, are solid but soft enough to scrape off pieces with a knife or to be grated with a large-hole grater. To grounds in large pan with water, cinnamon stick, and panela to taste. Sweeten other beverages. Sources suggest panela should be consumed within 15 days of well sealed packages of panela, kept in a dark cool place will lb round molded piece sells for $3.50 (Bz$). Several villages dont confuse this with panela! Editors Note: Having looked at panela in the markets of Central America for over 40 years without Xaibe for bringing this gem to our attention. Look for information on various sweetener substitutions in Ask Rubber Boots, issue 24. The Toledo Cacao Growers Assoc. (TCGA) plans their Annual General Meeting for January 18th, 2014, in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 22 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Mamey Sapote By Mary Susan Loan of Cristo Rey Village This is the last apple in the Apples of Belize series. Although none of the apples in the series (custard apple, star apple, mamey apple, sugar apple, wax apple or bell fruit, velvet apple) are they are all widely recognized as, and called apples. (As they do not look like apples, or grow on trees, pineapples are not part of the apple series). The Mamey sapote (Pouteriasapota), is a member of the Sapotaceae family. Mamey is also spelled Mammee, Mammey, Mammy or called Mamey Apple and is also known as Zapote fascinating history of Mamey sapote dates back at least to the early Aztec and Mayan days. Fruits were recorded as growing Republic, southern Florida and Australia. Mamey sapote trees and fruits are related to other sapotes, such as the Abui, sapotes or the Mamey apple (mammee Americana), which is a different fruit widely known by the same name. The thirteen or more varieties of Mamey sapote fruits are actually botanically considered as a berry and are likely the largest berries in the world! Mamey sapote trees are propagated primarily from grafting as they are slow growing and may take up to three years or longer to bear fruit. Seeds may be planted by removing the dark shiny coating and planting the seeds with the more pointed end planted towards the bottom of the hole, with the top protruding approximately one-half inch above the soil. Seeds lose their viability once removed from the fruit and are best planted within two weeks after the ripe fruits are harvested. Trees grown from seeds may bear in approximately seven years. The highly ornamental deciduous evergreen tree at maturity can grow to be between sixty and one hundred and forty feet in height. Shiny, dark green leaves grow from thick strong branches, are inches, or longer in length. The trunk of the tree is short and approximately one-half inch in diameter grow in clusters directly from the tree limbs and grow to fruit in approximately tree at maturity. The trees are long-lived and can survive and bear for generations. Mamey sapote trees are disease resistant and grow best in heavy, but well-drained soil. Mamey sapote fruits are oval or elliptical in shape, somewhat like a small football, with tough brown leathery skin with a corklike grit. Fruits weigh from one to eight pounds and glossy dark brown oval shaped seed with pointed ends, though some varieties may have up to four seeds. The sweet, semithe Mamey sapote ranges from pink to crimson and when ripe, is generally a brilliant, dark rich orange color. When the fruits are ripe they fall to the ground. Fruits are ripe when they feel when scratched. When ripe, fruits keep well in refrigerator of peach-like with undertones of raspberry, cherry, persimmon, apricot, banana, coconut, dates, chocolate, caramel, honey and almond. The almond aroma is due to the presence of cyanide in the pit of the fruit. The oily bitter cyanide in the pits may be removed by boiling or roasting the pits. Mamey sapote pits, called pixtli, when boiled with herbs or smoked over a wood pits are also used as an ingredient said to help heal head rashes and help encourage hair growth. The amazing seed kernels also contain insecticidal compounds when grated and added to water. Beauty products are made from the oil pressed from the seeds, known as sapayul or sapuyulo oil. Mamey sapote trees and fruits also contain a copious amount of milky latex-like sap which is used as an emetic, anthelmintic, and to remove warts is made from the sap of the tree. The leaves are considered to be poisonous. Fruits are mostly eaten with a spoon into fruit smoothies, ice cream, fruit bars, milk shake drinks, jams and jellies or can be baked in cakes and pies. The Aztecs created a recipe for making a delicious foamy, spicy chocolate drink, tejate. A sweeter version of tejate is still enjoyed in parts of Mexico and and mixed with cacao and sweetener. The Mamey sapote fruit is a favorite of Howler monkeys. Mamey fruits are rich cup of Mamey sapote fruit contains approximately 135 calories. products as the tree is highly valued for its fruit. through early September, Mamey sapotes fruits can be found in the open-air markets around the country. Trees are grown in backyards, farms and in villages across Belize.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 23 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Guidelines for Farming Watch the Moon PhaseBy Mary Susan Loan of Cristo ReyBelize farmers are captivated by gardening by the phases of the moon. Since prehistoric times farmers have discovered that various plants do best when planted and harvested at certain phases of the moon. Before planting or harvesting 1. week is especially good for crops that have their seeds on and the full moon) is the best time to plant crops that produce seeds on the inside. 2. plant root crops. No planting is to be done on the day of the new or full moon. 3. Fruits harvested during the full moon phase tend to weigh more and get a higher price in the market. 4. should be cut only during the phase of the full moon (three days before until three days after), as the sap rises and helps to prevent room for wood lice, ants and termites. 5. Firewood is said to burn better when cut at the time of the new moon. 6. This info has been gathered by interviewing several Belizean farmers and woodworkers. For more information on the 23 of the Belize Ag Report. International Promo... Continued from pg 23The two main types of consortia which he discussed were information on this topic in the next issue of our publication. Resources, opened his address with the comment that although there have been many programs for small farmers, most of them have not focused on business support which regional agriculture markets. Belize has an established export capability (sugar, corn, rice, beans, citrus, poultry, bananas, Alpuche emphasized that the foundation challenges to competitive pricing remain critical. Mr. Frank Lam, Agribusiness and Trade in Florida said that countries do not he said, where mangos are superb, they are exported successfully to the U.S. and food they eat. Farmers who are aware of market demands and address them will become the success stories of the future. An example is a client of Beltraide, a farmer who grew tomatoes and peanuts but couldnt sell them because producing ketchup and peanut butter. One of his biggest glaring enterprise niche opportunities in Belize is packaging. The encouraging philosophy of working with not just the people ready to export, but rather with the next group down, people that could get ready to export, and attending down the line to keep the progression of growth moving upward, was the message of Beltraides new commitment to natural resources and with hungry and viable markets close by, increased agricultural growth and success for Belize is more than possible its probable. livestock industry. Editors Note: We encourage all small and micro agriculture enterprises who aspire to enter the export market in the near future to contact Mr. Hero Balani at we wish to thank IICAs Ms. Yvette Garcia for her attentions to the Belize Ag Report. YOUR FRIENDSHIP CENTRE Now open for your parties, meetings, barbecues, conference etc. Love offering asked.Rustic setting, open 7 a.m. 4 p.m. any day. In Belmopan, Call Elsa 665.0656 or email: COOL M FARM ~ Fresh Milk from grass-fed cows ~ European Style Yoghurt ~ Butter ~ Artisan Mozzarellas ~ Ricotta ~ Queso Blanco ~ Whole Wheat Bread ~ Jams ~ Preserves ~ GranolasJANET LHR Cristo Rey Rd. Santa Elena, Cayo District ~ 824-2276


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 24 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Local and Regional Fuel Prices Cayo, Belize Quintana Roo, Mexico Peten, Guatemala REGULAR $10.91 Bz/Gal $7.77 Bz/Gal $10.57 Bz/Gal PREMIUM $11.31 Bz/Gal $8.14 Bz/Gal $10.86 Bz/Gal DIESEL $10.88 Bz/Gal $8.00 Bz/Gal $10.00 Bz/Gal Find all the Belize news sites linked from one site, including the Belize Ag Report. AG BRIEFS again given Belize some very positive international exposure, with an accessible via link below. belizes-top-bean-exporter-an-interview-with-otto-friesenNew corn variety: PuraMaize corn hybrids block GMO contamination and color impurities. Although pollen corn may germinate on PuraMaize, only its own pollen will achieve fertilization. For more information ORANGES: Costa Ricas 2012 orange harvest grew by 75% compared to 2011s. Some small coffee farmers in areas such as Guanacaste, have added citrus in efforts to diversify in the face of declining coffee prices. CITRUS to OLIVES in Florida HLB (citrus greening), Florida citrus growers are turning pomegranates and now olives. commercial olive growers in Florida, with approximately 200 acres planted. Watermelon: Honduras is the worlds leading exporter of Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, World record watermelon has broken the world record for largest watermelon for the 2nd he broke the records with This October, he brought a 350.5 pound watermelon to the 2013 Pumpkin and Fall Festival in Hamilton, Ohio, winning again. Kent says although the jumbo fruits are edible, they tend to be less sweet and more coarse. Growers such as Kent usually sell the seeds (estimated 1500 seeds in the 350.5-pound fruit) in packs of 3 to 4 seeds expenses and also often raise funds for gardening clubs. BANANAS retailer, disclosed that bananas have been their best selling item for several years. Report, that El Salvador has indeed banned glyphosate (the active ingredient in the worlds most popular herbicide, Roundup ) and 52 other chemicals, including Paraquat and Endosulfan. which as Salvadors 2nd largest cause of death is wasting away our populations. The effective dates for implementation of the bans vary, with most taking effect after a year, to allow growers time to identify alternatives.Continued on page 25


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 25 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Ag Briefs...Continued from page 25 Monsanto protest that took place globally on October 12, Mexico, the geographical birthplace of modern-day corn, instituted a regulatory ban on all plantings of genetically A victory for food freedom and agricultural integrity, the announcement was made at a press conference in the public and the press that all GM corn plantings, including pilot commercial plantings, were to be immediately suspended. Mexico will still import GMO corn, despite ban. The Results from UCLAs Pesticides Drift Study Maya Mountain Protected Areas of Belize can be sourced at Over 3 years, testing at 7 sites within the reserves, showed every sample positive for glyphosate (Roundup ) and organophosphates found to be more common at ridge sites. The studys author, Ms Kristine Kaiser, stated that Many farms surrounding the protected areas relied heavily on agrochemical application. She reports high pesticide use in all regions of the country. The report states that spraying from backpacks or airplanes can lead to aerosol overspraying, causing toxicological effects on non-target species and also causes pesticide drift into fresh water ecosystems. She advises further studies on these issues. USA: The US national cattle herd has diminished to the lowest levels in 61 years, feeling the effects from 2012s drought conditions and resulting high feed prices. prices and feeder stock prices have risen. BLPAs (Belize Livestock Producers Assn) new CEO Alistair McPherson reports that 89% of all the cattle in the country have been tested during the national cattle sweep. The teams are now moving into the Southern districts there. Mr. McPherson will have a full report on this and Belizes cattle industry in our issue 24 (Feb 2014). Cattle-One of the oldest Industries in Belize Now one of the Agriculture Industries with a very exciting future Local and Export Oriented Phone: 501 822-3883 BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION The Pesticides Control Board of Belize celebrates its 25th anniversary the regulation of pesticides in Belize bringing into existence the statutory body mandated with the implementation of the provisions is excited to announce its plans to mark this important 25 year milestone at an event scheduled to be held in November 2013. The event will have the participation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, and other stakeholders. There will be a panel presentation and discussion titled Sustainable Agriculture featuring technological innovations in pest management and outreach programs that support sustainable agriculture. participation at this event which will present the salient issues in the regulation of pesticide use and management within the perspective offered by 25 years of hindsight and the broader topic of sustainable agriculture. The 25th anniversary celebration of the Sustainable agriculture: sustaining livelihoods through the rational management of pests and pesticides. XX FERIA INTERNACIONAL DE GANADERIA TROPICAL X'Matkuil 2013November 8-17 Mrida, Yucatn spring, $283K remote $77,500 Macal River, great hill for building overlooking river, $60K riverfront $175K On grid Macal River lots at $25K $302K Macal River $360K 57ac farm on grid, spring, home with pool, San $275K $120K All Prices US$ See our ad pg 2Holdfast Ltd, P.O. Box 150, San Ignacio, Belize 501-668-0749 / 663-6777 www.holdfastbelize.comHOLDFAST L ISTINGS


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 26 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize ATTENTION NOW IN BELIZE AGRICONES AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY, ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT AND REAL ESTATE SERVICESFor all your consultancy needs in AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION FINANCIAL ANALYSIS & FORECASTING BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SERVICES STATISTICAL ANALYSIS & SURVEY DESIGN LAND USE AND MEASUREMENT REAL ESTATE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENTVisit us at our website or Email: TELEPHONE: 501-8222618 CELL: 501-6208481 TO THE EDITORContinued from Page 4 While some of the above genetic improvements in corn are in the experimental stage, the use of Bt corn has been very successful commercially. The gene for Bt corn was obtained from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which is a common soil bacterium that is also found on the leaves of plants, in stored grain, as well as human food, including milk, green-tea and leafy vegetables. These bacteria produce a group of insecticidal crystal proteins (known as are considered harmless to humans and animals as well as most activated in highly alkaline conditions (ie. at pH 10) in the gut of insects, and hence is not activated in the acidic conditions of the human stomach. Bt proteins are destroyed when heated to 70 degrees centigrade (ie. 30 degrees less than the boiling point of water), are unstable and are destroyed by digestive enzymes in the stomach of the insects. This creates holes in the stomach walls, causing the stomach to leak and eventually this kills the caterpillar. Bacillus thuringiensis or the Bt proteins it produces have a long using the Bt bacteria* and the Bt protein in about 40 different years now on vegetables such as cabbages and tomatoes that are eaten fresh. Because Bt is considered safe, it is allowed to be used up to one day before harvesting by organic farmers. With agriculture being the foundation of Belizes economy, and corn farmers willing to begin using Bt corn, why arent they allowed to grow it? on the Science Agenda of GMOs and Food in its September 2013 unfounded fears. Hugh O'Brien Editor's Note: Organic farmers use Bt as an external spray only. Bt corn has the Bt gene inserted inside the corn's cells. Some Bt corn varieties are registered as insecticides. ********************************************************** going to give the promoters of GMO crops. The latest example is the GMO tickets for a ride to crop-yield paradise while the substantive, evidence-driven objections to the pro-GMO proclamations that have been raised in the BAR remain uncontested by these Monsanto marketing material are not then there is nothing of substance to print from them. premature and presently faulty technology. Maybe decades in the premature introduction into the biosphere is evidenced, in the tomato failure has been repeated in NK603 GM corn and Bt cotton them by ingesting the very toxins they would have used on their research by Seralini in France was thorough and carefully been given in prior BAR issues. Monsanto press releases against of global opposition to GMO food. proclamations but investigations one social and the other biological into GM issues, and are but two instances of factual support which back up rejection of GMOs. The recent global backlash against Monsanto has been driven, in part, by recent discoveries showing glyphosate (Roundup) to be more hazardous to health than previously supposed. Monsanto stock has been of their own Monsanto stock. Monsanto desperately attempts to use its political clout to have laws passed in order to effect its ends rather than appeal to truth and to the markets. The pro-GMO people have offered no substantial rebuttals to these and other claims against GMO use. Why is this? OBriens role in promoting GMOs is tainted by being paid to proclaim its what? explains much of the substantiated evidence instead of proclamation? Perhaps this is why Belize is not embracing this technology.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 27 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize REIMERS FEEDS...were growing Belize SPANISH LOOKOUTCenter Road Tel: 823-0105BELMOPAN1903 Constitution Dr.Tel: 822-2088 BELIZE CITY 1615 Moho Bay 3 Mls. Northern Hwy.Tel: 223-0606 ORANGE WALK 42 Lovers Lane Tel: 322-1170 REIMERS FEED MILL Complete Poultry & Livestock Feeds, Equipment & Health Products


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 28 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize