Posted: Friday, February 11, 2022. 11:55 am CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: A San José Succotz cooperative, the Western Mopan Farmers Cooperative Society Limited, is producing good quality sweet peppers, according to Luis Pook, Communications Director at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).
Pook was part of a group of personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture’s Cooperative and Extension Departments that on Thursday visited cooperative farms in the San José Succotz and San Antonio areas of the Cayo District which are engaged in agricultural production.
While the farmer groups in San Antonio are procuring a variety of vegetables, such as carrots, cabbages, sweet pepper, jalapeños, and lettuce, the Western Mopan Farmers in Succotz are concentrating on sweet pepper.
“The products and the agricultural practices and everything that we’re seeing here is very impressive. This farm on the other side of the Mopan River in San Jose Succotz, they have ten nice size greenhouses, all of them full of sweet peppers,” said Pook.
Though they are a new cooperative, the Western Mopan farmers are doing well.
Pook said the Western Mopan farmers are growing their sweet peppers in the covered structures in the middle of a plantain field.
“They got access to funding for ten greenhouses set up so that they are growing sweet peppers. They are a new cooperative a couple years ago but already got access to funding for their covered structures. They should soon be ready for marketing those sweet peppers,” Pook said.
The visits to San Antonio and San Jose Succotz are part of a monitoring programme by the Cooperative and Extension Departments to ensure that good agricultural practices are being followed by Belizeans farmers.
“We are bringing along members of the Extension Department as well. It’s something that we do regularly. The Coops Department and Extension Department visit farmers on a regular basis to monitor the crops that they have. It’s also a part of our new policy direction where we try to ensure that we work closer with the farmer groups and the community.”
Pook said the Agriculture Department is trying to work with everyone to make sure that they give the farmer’s technical advice to guide him along.
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