Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2022. 3:06 pm CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Sembrando Vida (Sowing Life) project to be carried out by the Mexican International Agency for Cooperation and Development (Amexcid), in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise, is going to benefit 2,000 Belizean farmers.
Recently an Amexcid delegation and a Ministry of Agriculture technical team conducted a one-week field assessment for Mexico’s Sembrando Vida Project in Belize in Yo Creek in Orange Walk and Santa Cruz in Toledo as part of the planning for the implementation of the project.
“They’re going to support 2,000 farmers but all 2,000 farmers will not start at once,” said Emilio Rene Montero, National Food and Nutrition Security Commission (NFNSC) coordinator explaining that though the Sembrando Vida project lasts 8 months it will stretch throughout three years.
“Once the project starts, we won’t be able to start with all 2,000. We may start with the 300 farmers and then keep on registering more and more till we’ll get to the 2,000 farmers.”
Montero said the project is for small farmers.
“The project is to actually assist the small farmer; farmers that have within .5 of an acre to 5 acres. So, we have to register them. They will be getting an economic incentive for 4 months with agricultural inputs like fertilizer, seeds, irrigation systems, and so on. And 8 months of training.”
Montero said that for Amexcid to carry out the project they will have to hire approximately 16 extension officers.
“We all know every ministry in Government is short of human resources. For the project to work they want to have their own extension officers that will be supporting the farmer all the way because if we were to assign our extension officers to support it, it would become very challenging because our extension officers are already involved with their programs so they wouldn’t have the full time to be supporting the farmer. So, they will be hiring their own extension officers. Of course, our Agriculture Department will be supporting them all the way.”
Montero said that to qualify for the Sembrando Vida Project, the farmers must be Belizeans, registered with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Belize Agriculture Information Management System (BAIMS), and 18 years old or over.
Montero said that once the farmers are registered, the Amexcid will visit their farms to validate the process by confirming that indeed what they say they are doing is what they have on their farm.
“We will be announcing when the farmers can go to the different Agriculture stations to register,” said Montero.
“It will be entered in a database, and then the validation process and confirmation process. and so on, will be done “by Amexcid and MAFSE staff like the District Agriculture Coordinators (DAC).”
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 helping 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).
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