Posted: Monday, October 10, 2022. 10:18 am CST.
Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Despite having to postpone the Stann Creek soursop workshop slated for today, Monday, because of the inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm Julia, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) says the soursop workshops have been a success.
Conducted by Brazilian expert agronomist Raul Reboucas, brought in by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the workshops have concentrated on innovative methods to improve cultivation and ways to control pests and diseases.
The workshops have gone beyond MAFSE’s expectations. The Agriculture Ministry had expected 80 farmers would attend the four workshops planned for Cayo, Orange Walk, Belize District, and Stann Creek, but in just three of the four training sessions 115 farmers attended. Thirty-five were present on Thursday at Central Farm, 45 showed up at Yo Creek, and 35 at Lemonal, according to Barry Palacio, the National Coordinator for Non-Traditional Fruit Trees.
The Agriculture Ministry still plans to go ahead with the soursop workshop for the Stann Creek and Toledo farmers but will set a date later, Palacio said. Belizean technicians, who attended Reboucas initial workshop for MAFSE trainers, will conduct that workshop. Twenty farmers from the Southern Districts are expected to attend. That would push the national total of farmers attending the soursop workshops to 135 showing the interest farmer have in diversification.
The Ministry of Agriculture has embarked on a program for Belizean farmers to move away from one-crop farming and, with the help of organizations such as the FAO, is pushing crops like soursop, coconuts, and pitahaya.
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