Posted: Friday, June 24, 2022. 11:22 am CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture technical team along with Amexcid’s Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) delegates are concluding the field assessment for Mexico’s Sembrando Vida Project in Belize on Friday.
After the initial meeting at the Mexican Embassy on Tuesday between the Ministry of Agriculture’s technical committee for Sembrando Vida – Belize and the Mexican International Agency for Cooperation and Development (Amexcid) Sembrando Vida delegation, the two groups conducted field assessment visits to Yo Creek in Orange Walk on Wednesday and Santa Cruz in Toledo on Thursday as part of the planning for the implementation of the project.
The Sembrando Vida project was initiated by the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to curb migration from Central American countries. Through the program, the Mexican government is going to help countries in the region improve and increase their agricultural production through the planting of agricultural commodities, fruit trees and other trees like mahogany and cedar.
“Sembrando Vida is a program of the Government of Mexico that seeks to contribute to the social welfare of small farmers through the promotion of food self-sufficiency,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).
“The Amexcid delegation wanted to have a general idea of the profile of the country and having a general idea of the geographic situation of Belize they concentrated on visiting farms in the Orange Walk in the North and Toledo in the South of Belize,” said Emilio Rene Montero, National Food and Nutrition Security Commission (NFNSC) coordinator
Amexcid is conducting similar exercises in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. After Belize, next week they’ll visit Honduras. The program has already started in El Salvador and Guatemala. In effect, Amexcid brought Mexican agronomists that are working on the project in El Salvador to identify the types of soil in Belize.
The Amexcid delegation identified the environmental factors, such as soil, rainfall, humidity, temperature, and altitude, in the areas visited in the North where it rains less and the South where it rains the most.
“Those factors are key for them to identify what type of agricultural products could be planted in those areas so that the program can work because the idea of the project is for the small farmers to be able to produce more and in producing more, they will be able to sell more, and through that they will improve the economic situation of their household,” said Montero.
“In the North we were able to see cabbage, where a farmer had cabbage planted with some fruit trees,” said Montero pointing out that the project will include the basic commodities that are grown in Belize plus fruit trees and agroforestry.
“In grains, we’re looking at corn, beans, rice, all vegetables – we’re talking cabbage, lettuce, sweet pepper, tomato. We’re also looking at ground foods like cassava, yam, pepitos, beans because those grow in the South. In the South, we are also looking at corn because that’s the staple of the communities out there,” Montero noted.
“We’re also looking at fruit trees and lumber trees like mahogany and cedar, and so forth.”
Montero said that after the field visits over the last two days, on Friday the two groups are having a meeting to do a final report of the site visits.
The Sembrando Vida project is expected to start soon.
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