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Orange Walk has gone coconuts: Ministry of Agriculture holds two-day training for coconut farmers

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Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2022. 1:34 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The coconut business is a growing industry in Belize and as such, the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE), is looking for ways to boost the industry.

One of the ways to do that is to train farmers on best practices and on the control of pests and diseases that affect the industry.

To that end, on Thursday and Friday, MAFSE in conjunction with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), and the International Training Centre (ITC), a European Union-funded project, is holding a two-day Climate Resiliency Workshop for Coconut farmers at the Orange Walk Agriculture Station in Yo Creek.

“We are all joining together to be able to make an impact, an outreach to the farmers along the different value chains of the coconut industry,” said National Coordinator for Non-Traditional Fruit Trees Barry Palacio.

“Basically, it is to teach farmers about climate resiliency, how they can mitigate the impact of climate change in their coconut farms, and also train them to identify and control coconut pests and diseases,” said

The training will be conducted by agronomist Teresita Balan from Central Farm, Extension Officer Samuel Cocom, CARDI consultants Edgar White and Robert Graham, Pesticides Control Board’s Edgar Silva, and Palacio himself.

MAFSE expects 25 coconut farmers and Extension Officers to attend what Palacio calls “a trainer of trainers workshop”.

“We are targeting lead farmers and extension officers. Lead farmers who work with a group as their focal point. The idea is that these same people will go back and train the other farmers,” said Palacio.

“CARDI and MAFSE will be focusing on production, ITC together with the Ministry we’ll be focusing on the processing component of coconuts. We call it an alliance because we’re all trying together to serve the same client which is the farmer.”

The Climate Resiliency Workshop for Coconut farmers runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Thursday and from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Friday.

 

 

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