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New laboratory inaugurated to help cane farmers fight froghopper pest

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Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2020. 1:58 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: This week, the Government of Belize (GOB) and the European Union (EU) inaugurated the first Metarhizium laboratory in Belize, which will be used in the fight against the froghopper pest, which is affecting the sugar industry.

The laboratory was inaugurated at the Sugar Industry Control Board Headquarters located at mile 66.5 on the Philip Goldson Highway in Buena Vista Village, Corozal yesterday.

It was is valued at $1.7 million and was funded by the EU with counterpart funding from GOB as a part of the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS 2013) programme as the AMS 2013’s final project, which supports the Government’s Sugar Adaptation Strategy.

“It has been a great advance in the industry, being a leader and a cane farmer, I support 100 percent the laboratory. The use of this biological agent is beneficial for our agroecosystem, climate change is here and we need to build resilience and protect our environment,” said Chairman of Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA), Vladimir Puck.

GOB said in a statement today that the use of Metarhizium, a biological pesticide, presents a new approach to mitigating and preventing any possibility of a froghopper outbreak without having a negative impact on our environment.

GOB and the EU jointly implemented the Accompanying Measures for Sugar over a 10-year period for a total amount of $52 million Euros.

 

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