Posted: Monday, September 26, 2022. 2:41 pm CST.
Contributed by Ministry of Economic Development: Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), Dr. Osmond Martinez, and Resilient Rural Belize’s (RRB) Program Manager, Dr. Geraldo Flowers organized a site visit with The University of Belize’s (UB) President, Dr. Vincent Palacio and his team at UBs Central Farm Campus. This visit was to view the progress of a joint research project involving Tomato production using Covered Structures. As is well known in Belize, tomato is a highly valued crop. Therefore, it is crucial to protect, innovate, and enhance its production system. As such, Farmers in Belize (like many other countries) are investing in covered structures to increase the yield of this highly valued product. However, there is little research available to scientifically evaluate the performance of tomato production in covered structures.
With funding from the Government of Belize (GOB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Green Climate Fund (GCF), operating through the RRB programme, the UB, MED and RRB signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in April of 2022 to undertake a research study that was aimed at evaluating the performance of several improved varieties of Tomatoes and/or hybrids for commercial production under Covered Structures. The funding totalled BZ$100,000 to construct a covered structure at the UB Central Farm Campus, including seedling units; drip irrigation; land preparation and a corn barrier for pest control.
The study utilizes an experimental design and will compare growth and yield of several Tomato varieties under Covered Structures and will recommend a tomato variety that has the best agronomic performance and organoleptic qualities. This project will also enhance the research capacity for crop and soil science at the University of Belize.
Conducting the tour of the research facility at the UB Central Farm Campus was the new Central Farm Administrator Maximilliano Ortega , assisted by the RRB Climate Officer Mr. Alfred Serano. The MED/RRB program hopes to continue to partner with the University of Belize to conduct further research of the use of Covered Structures with other valued vegetables in Belize.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Geraldo Flowers
Resilient Rural Belize
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