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Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Resilient Belize to hand over office, processing equipment on Thursday to the New River Farmers’ Co-operative

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Posted: Thursday, July 28, 2022. 10:34 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) in collaboration with the Rural Resilient Belize will be handing over office and processing equipment on Thursday, July 28, 2022, to the New River Farmers’ Co-operative Society Limited, according to Communications Officer Catherine Hob at MAFSE.

The handing over will be made at the San Carlos Community Center, in San Carlos, Orange Walk, at 11:00 am.

The equipment valued at BZ$ 8,000.00 will be handed over by José Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise on behalf of the Resilient Rural Belize Programme under the Ministry of Economic Development, in compliance with the first phase

The equipment is just a small part of the Matching Grant Fund Agreement signed on December 2, 2021, between GOB and the New River Farmers’ Co-operative Society Limited, through which the RRB Programme will provide the cooperative BZ$ 255,530.00 in support.

“This money will be used by the members of the co-operative to become more resilient by working cooperatively and build an office, storage and marketing centre in the community, and to hire a marketing and administrative officer to manage customers and suppliers,” said RRB.

“It will support members to receive, sort, store and sell all the produce from 17 acres of onions and six acres of carrots to be cultivated both cooperatively and individually. Other activities will also include the financing of a capacity-building plan to improve management, reduce chemical use, improve water management for irrigation, quality control and enhance gender equity.

“The MGF also aims to increase the economic, social, and environmental resilience of the co-operative. It is expected that this investment will positively impact directly 29 households representing the 39 members of the co-operative. ‘

The equipment the New River Farmers’ Co-operative Society Limited receives today includes a printer, desktop computer, a refrigerator, and plastic crates.

Resilient Rural Belize (RRB) is a six-year programme that the Government of Belize (GOB), with the assistance of foreign partners, launched “to minimize the impacts of climatic and economic events on small farmers while supporting sustainable market access for their produce. The RRB Programme, under the Ministry of Economic Development, is financed to the tune of BZ$40 million from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and participating beneficiaries.

The Programme Management Unit of the Be-Resilient Programme (PMU), in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, is directly in charge of the RRB programme. The PMU works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise in its implementation, “including the administration and implementation of the programme’s Matching Grant Fund (MGF), the main objective of which is to support the achievement of the programme objectives by co-financing investments that would improve, in volume and quality, small farmer agricultural production and safeguard food security in the context of existing and projected climate change effects.

The RRB works with producers’ organizations “providing support for the development of business plans, which identify proposed investments, including technical assistance and capacity building, aimed at achieving the above objectives, and which shall be used as the basis for accessing support from the Matching Grant Fund”.

 

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