Posted: Thursday, August 25, 2022. 9:55 pm CST.
Contributed by the Ministry of Economic Development: On Thursday, August 25, 2022, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed for the implementation of component two of the Resilient Rural Belize (RRB) program in the City of Belmopan, between the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) by its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Osmond Martinez and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing (MIDH) by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Victor Espat. Present in the signing of this MOA was also the RRB Programme Manager, Dr. Geraldo Flowers and the MIDH Senior Executive Engineer, Mr. Irving Thimbriel. The purpose of the MOA is to enhance 4.3 miles of the Valley of Peace Road in the Cayo District, 3 miles of the Trio Village Road in the Toledo District and 3.7 miles of the San Carlos Road in the Orange Walk District.
In November of 2018, the Government of Belize (GOB) entered into agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a loan of BZD 16,000,000, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a loan of BZD 4,829,600 and a grant of BZD 12, 170,400, a counterpart contribution from Program Beneficiaries of BZD 1,644,800 and counterpart contribution from the GOB of BZD 6,360,000, all totaling BZD 40,000,000 towards the implementation of the RRB program over a six years period, ending in 2024. The first component of the RRB is to build resilience of small farmers’ cooperatives to climate change by adopting climate resilient practices, increase and diversify production and facilitate their access to commercial market chains. The second component of the RRB program looks at rehabilitation and provisions of agricultural feeder roads, drainage and irrigation in rural communities, while the third component addresses institutional strengthening of RRB partners such as the Department of Cooperatives.
The Program is expected to reach a total of 6,000 households or approximately 30,000 persons, with importance placed on women in the rural economy and is operating country wide in all six districts of Belize. Beneficiaries will include:
1. Poor and vulnerable rural families;
2. Farming cooperatives of less than 25 acres;
3. Institutional Partners such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Rural Transformation and the Ministry of Infrastructural Development and Housing.
The GOB reports progress under the RRB with the upgrade of the Nago Bank Road in the Belize District which is slated to be completed in October, 2022. It is then planned that the enhancement of the Valley of Peace Road will commence in November 2022 and both the Trio Road and the San Carlos Road in 2023.
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