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Ministry of Agriculture conducts cold storage training for Cooperativa El Progreso en Desarrollo, Seven Miles Farmers’ Association in Cayo

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2023. 2:36 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) on Tuesday conducted cold storage training for Cooperativa El Progreso en Desarrollo and the Seven Miles Farmers’ Association at Seven Miles-El Progreso, a community in the Georgeville area of the Cayo District.

Registrar of Cooperatives Gareth Murillo said the Seven Miles Farmers Association is not a cooperative, but his department collaborates with them and has given them some training prior to this one and hopes they do become a cooperative.

“Cooperativa El Progreso en Desarrollo and Seven Miles Farmers’ Association representatives received training today on how to use and manage the cold storage system recently put in place,” MAFSE said.

“This is one of 4 units around the country that are being prepared to store vegetables for use in local markets.”

The 40-foot cold storage units were donated by Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) last year. The JICA project was valued at $186,000 of which the Government of Belize contributed 15% in technical assistance.

Murillo said the training was done in collaboration with MAFSE’s Project Execution Unit and the Cayo Extension Services based in Central Farm.

The cold storage training was facilitated by Jose Tillet of the Project Execution Unit and Franklyn Padron who represented the Cayo Extension Services.

MAFSE said the four containers were distributed to Seven Miles-El Progreso, Maskall Village in the Belize District, Xaibe Village in the Corozal District; and Indian Creek in the Orange Walk District for farmer organizations in the respective areas to use under a co-sharing agreement. 

“Under the terms of the agreement, participating organizations are to establish sub-committees for general administration and for quality control,” Murillo said.

“The training [on Tuesday] was for the members of those sub-committees and included three members each from Cooperativa El Progreso en Desarrollo Co-operative and the Seven Miles Farmers’ Association both of Seven Miles El Progreso Community, Cayo.”

MASE said the four cool storage containers from JICA were expected to be a solution for extending the post-harvest shelf life of vegetables. Both MAFSE and JICA have said they were satisfied with the outcome.


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