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Farmers in Belize District trained to prepare biofertilizers to mitigate the rising cost of fertilizers

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Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2022. 4:17 pm CST.

Photo Credit: Belize District Department of Agriculture

By Rubén Morales Iglesias:  Belize District Department of Agriculture on Thursday completed the second in a series of training sessions on the production of biofertilizers and biopesticides in Bomba for farmers in the Belize District.

“The increase in prices of agrochemicals especially synthetic fertilizers has forced small producers to implement the use of alternative products,” said Miguel Balan, District Agriculture Coordinator in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE).

According to Balan, 13 farmers from the surrounding community of Bomba were in attendance today at the Orellana’s Farm in Bomba.

The first session was conducted at Lucky Strike on June 15.

“Extension Officers taught farmers how to prepare bokashi, Baboosina – a plant-based Biol, Apichi, Baking Soda Broth, and Glass Water,” said Balan.

“Bokashi is a process that converts food waste and similar organic matter into a soil amendment which adds nutrients and improves soil texture.

“The preparation of the biol is done through an anaerobic fermentation process using cow manure, molasses, ash, yeast, and internal organs of fish or other animals, thus achieving a biol with high content of vegetative growth regulators and nutrients.

“The procedure allows us to extract soluble acids (humic and fulvic acids) and beneficial microorganisms to be applied as foliar fertilizer or directly to the soil to improve plant growth,” said Balan.

Balan said the three-hour training sessions target mostly vegetable producers since their yearly investment in procuring chemical fertilizers is high.

So far, 28 vegetable farmers have benefited from the program, 15 at Lucky Strike and the 13 today at Bomba. Balan said today’s group of farmers included 4 women, 6 men, and 3 youths. including 2022 Junior Farmer of the Year Darwin Orellana Jr.

Five more sessions, as a recurrent activity in the Belize District, are planned at Maskall, Nago Bank, Gardenia, Bermudian Landing, and Rancho Dolores. The Belize District Department of Agriculture hopes to complete these sessions by December.

Balan said the farmers learn by making the bio-fertilizers during participatory demonstrations in which the elaboration process is taught step by step.

“The techniques shared are simple of easy preparation and the innovations that can be made taking advantage of the different agricultural waste found at the farm level,” said Balan.

The Belize District Department of Agriculture said that anyone who wants to learn more about these techniques is invited to participate in their next session. Contact the Extension Officer or the district office via phone at 205-5088.

 

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