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2023 Junior Farmer of the Year Axel Perez of Cristo Rey, Corozal, is working towards becoming an agronomist

Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2023. 1:27 pm CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Axel Perez from Cristo Rey, Corozal, who the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise’s (MAFSE) National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) Committee announced on Tuesday as the 2023 Junior Farmer of the Year is working towards financing his studies to become an agronomist.

According to MAFSE, Perez, who sells his products at the farmgate believes everyone, young or old, has a dream to pursue, and encourages young people to get into agriculture.

“As a young farmer, I produce carrots, cabbages, sweet peppers, tomatoes and onions,” Perez told MAFSE.

“I produce about 8000 cabbage plants, 2000 tomatoes and 2000 sweet peppers. Carrots and onions I count by acre.”

Perez said he waters his plants using a drip irrigation system which is the most efficient system for him to grow his plants.

2023 Youth Farmer of The Year Axel Perez uses butane gas powered pumps to draw water from his wells to irrigate his farm. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)

“I have three wells. They are industrial wells where I use butane pumps,” he said.

“I have converted them from gasoline so they can be cheaper to operate and more efficient. I spend $30 every two weeks on butane gas. There are many challenges one faces daily. There are days when it rains, followed by sunshine, which creates fungi and diseases. In summer, there are also many pests and insects that affect the plants. These can be more difficult to control.”

Perez told MAFSE that this year his cabbage production was hit hard by low prices.

“I lost about 8000 plants due to low prices for cabbage. So, we could not continue investing to save the harvest,” he said.

“I personally don’t go to the market. Buyers come to me and they sell them my products. It helps me because I can spend the rest of the day at the farm attending my plants.”

2023 Youth Farmer of The Year Axel Perez works daily at hus farm to save to psy fir his studies. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)

All that work isn’t only to provide for his daily living. The young Corozaleño keeps farming to fulfill his dream of becoming an agronomist.

“As a young man I want to continue my studies and pay for my education by myself, so that’s why I work everyday to be able to fulfill my dream,” he said.

“My dream is to study agronomy, but if that is not possible then I will try business management. All of my family are farmers. I learned this way of living from my father, and he is my motivation.”

Pérez is proud of being a farmer and said more young people ought to get into farming.

“To all the youth, I say don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to work in the fields,” Perez said.

“It is very satisfactory and you are your own boss. You don’t have to worry about when you go in or when you leave. Life in the farm is enjoyable. We all have to fight to fulfill our dreams, no matter how old we are. It’s possible.”


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