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More than 40 farmers attend pitahaya, soursop Mexico-led training session at Yo Creek Agric Station in Orange Walk

Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2022. 12:45 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: More than 40 farmers from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts are attending a pitahaya (dragon fruit) and soursop training session conducted by technical officer from Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) at the Yo Creek Agric Station in Orange Walk.

“Facilitators from the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias (INIFAP) or National Institute for Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research are in country right now conducting sessions where they will help farmers do analyses to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to their pitahaya and soursop crops,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) in a statement.

“The session aims to do participatory diagnosis for the identification of the technical-productive and commercial problems of soursop and pitahaya via SWOT and PEST analysis tools.” MAFSE said.

MAFSE Communications Director Luis Pook said that SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat) analyses are used in different fields to identify if what is being done is being done well and if it can be done better.

Pook said INIFAP officers have been visiting Belize over the past month to conduct training for different crop areas.

“They’ve done soybean training and evaluation analysis,” Pook said.

“They’ve done trial plots in different parts of Belize to see where soybean grows best, and today they are also doing pitahaya and soursop here in Orange Walk. They did training with the cane farmers yesterday and I think they will do it with another group tomorrow. They’ll be in the country for the whole week. Next week we should have another group from INIFAP whose specialty is coconut, and they should be doing something similar.

“The whole idea is to get farmers on the right page when it comes to what we call non-traditional fruit trees cultivation. Non-traditional in the sense that it’s not citrus, it’s not sugar, it’s not bananas, and so on, that we traditionally export.

Pook said the training sessions are part of the technical assistance agreed between Belize and Mexico for mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in agriculture.

“This is coming about as a result of the agreement that we signed with the Mexican Government’s Ministry of Agriculture (Secretaría de Agricultura) about a year or so ago. We both agreed that we would work together and that they would support us with technical assistance when it comes to these kinds of training sessions that we are doing right now.

Pook reiterated that the training sessions and registration in the Sembrando Vida project,  under the Mexican International Agency for Cooperation and Development (Amexcid), are taking place all over the country to reach as many farmers as possible.


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