Posted: Friday, May 20, 2022. 3:10 pm CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Government of Belize will upgrade three miles of the Nago Bank Road in the Belize District to the tune of BZ$1.75 million.
The Nago Bank Road Enhancement Project was announced on Thursday after the signing of a BZ$1,734,102.34 contract on May 9, 2022, between the Government of Belize and Teichroeb & Sons Limited for the upgrading of three miles of the Nago Bank Road.
“Along with Maskall and Bomba, the Nago Bank area serves as the “vegetable basket” for the Belize District and elsewhere; therefore, having proper road access is crucial to food security as it ensures that farmers can bring their products to the market year-round,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).
The Nago Bank Road Enhancement Project is an initiative of the six-year Resilient Rural Belize (RRB) Programme. The RRB programme has the objective of minimizing the impacts of climatic and economic events on agricultural micro, small and medium farms, and households.
“Its development objective is to build overall resilience to climate change for MSMEs by adopting new or improved climate-resilient practices, increasing and diversifying agricultural production, and facilitating small farmers’ access, including improved road access to commercial market chains for the off-take of their surplus production,” said MAFSE.
The RRB Programme is investing BZ$40 million during its six-year span. The programme is implemented by the Government of Belize with the financing coming from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and participating beneficiaries.
The RRB Programme provides technical and financial assistance to agriculture cooperatives through a Matching Grant Fund. MAFSE said cooperatives like Los Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos de Nago Bank Co-operative Society Limited benefit from the programme.
The programme not only assists farmers organizations with technical assistance and capacity building, but it also helps the producer organization communities with the upgrading of agricultural feeder roads for farmers to get their goods to markets more efficiently and effectively.
The RRB Programme is also assisting the Los Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos de Nago Bank Co-operative Society Limited, through a matching grant agreement, with the construction of a water facility, a storage/packing shed, and climate-friendly irrigation implements. Additionally, it is assisting the cooperative with capacity-building efforts so they are better organized and can sustain themselves financially.
MAFSE said the RRB Programme should carry out similar projects for 30 farming communities throughout Belize.
MAFSE said officials present at the Nago Bank ceremony included Marconi Leal, Area Representative for Belize Rural North; Dr. Osmond Martinez, CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development; Victor Espat, CEO of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing; Servulo Baeza, CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise; Dr. Geraldo Flowers, Programme Manager, Resilient Rural Belize; Ruben Pineda, Chairman of Los Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos de Nago Bank Co-operative Society Limited; representatives of the respective ministries; RRB representatives; and members of the Nago Bank cooperative.
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