By BBN Staff: World Environment Day (WED), observed in over a 100 nations on June 5th this year, was honored in Belize with an excursion of 40 teachers and students from Belmopan to Trio Village in the Toledo District on Saturday.
The group, made up of persons from Belmopan Comprehensive High School, Belmopan Methodist High School and Belmopan Active Youths (BAY), spent the day learning about agro-farming from people who truly live off the land.
Since Belize is the host country for the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), participants of the excursion learned about the collaboration between that center, Trio’s Cacao Farmers Organization and Ya’axche Conservation Trust, which is a non-governmental organization.
Farmers showed the group over 28,000 cacao seedlings which were obtained through the use of a US $250,000 grant from the United Kingdom and developed on 926 acres of land within the Maya Mountain Reserve, given on a unique concession from the Forestry Department.
They also saw beans and plantains being grown as a faster cash crop while this first set of cacao plants grows mature enough to harvest and were surprised that there was no burning or pesticides and fertilizers being used.
That is because the Trio farmers use sawdust and decayed material to enrich the soil, ensuring that their families have income to sustain them all year round for a long time, as opposed to the seasonal banana farming which they once depended on.
All involved agreed that it was a wonderful experience and ended the day at one of the villager’s home, eating a hot meal and getting to taste cacao juice.
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