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Ministry of Agriculture consults with farmers to decide which varieties of tomatoes, sweet pepper to grow

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Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2022. 7:14 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) is consulting with farmers to decide which varieties of tomatoes and sweet pepper to grow.

To that end, MAFSE’s Horticulture Unit held two field day open sessions with Cayo District farmers at its research station in Central Farm on Wednesday.

Horticulture Unit Coordinator Gary Ramirez said that the Horticulture Program has been conducting its 2021-2022 Crop Trial Research Activities in Central Farm. Today and on Wednesdays in the month of March, the MAFSE’S Extension Service is hosting the farmers that they work with to show them the different sweet pepper and tomato varieties that the Horticulture Unit has been researching in their trial evaluation activities.

“We’re looking at eight varieties of tomato selected from a number of local suppliers and we’re evaluating the sweet pepper varieties against a number of parameters like the production potential and the quality of the food that it produces,” said Ramirez.

“We’ve been doing that work for the last two and a half months or so. The plants are just about ready to harvest and so today we’ve invited a number of farmers. We have two sessions, one in the morning and another group in the afternoon to look at those varieties of produce that we have been developing under the covered structure system here and to get their reaction because that will essentially determine the type of varieties that the Ministry will be promoting going forward,” he said.

Ramirez said the farmers’ feedback is important and to give farmers from other parts of the country time to evaluate the different varieties, MAFSE plans to host farmers every Wednesday during March.’

“Because we’re still under Covid protocol in terms of the number of persons that we could have, what we have done is set aside Wednesdays over the next couple of weeks, just to have the facility open for farmers that might be interested in visiting.

“We should have visits from the farmers in Stann Creek and Belize Districts over the next couple of weeks. On Wednesdays for the month of March, the staff will be here, and the structures will be accessible to farmers that want to come in and take a look,” Ramirez reiterated.

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