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32 Cayo, Orange Walk farmers benefit from potato cultivation training conducted by Ministry of Agriculture, Japan International Cooperation Agency

Posted: Thursday, October 19, 2023. 11:16 am CST.

Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Thirty potato farmers, 18 from the Orange Walk District and 14 from the Cayo District, learned new potato farming techniques from a potato cultivation workshop conducted by Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The potato cultivation training, part of the advisory JICA project ‘COVID-19 Agricultural Value Chain Improvement in Belize’, was conducted in Orange Walk on Tuesday, October 17, and in Cayo on Wednesday, October 18. This JICA project got underway last February.

“[The farmers] participated in sessions on Soil Sampling and Analysis, Land Preparation, Potato Seed Cutting, and Fertilization, through lectures and demonstrations conducted by Mr. William Can, Mr. Gumercindo Mai, Plant Health Officer, Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), and Mr. Oscar Salazar from the Research Unit, Central Farm,” MAFSE said in a statement on social media.

“The participants are expected to apply knowledge learned in the training to improve the yield and quality of the potatoes they cultivate.”

MAFSE said that to help farmers in the application of the potato cultivation methods shared in the training sessions, demonstration plots will be established in both the Cayo and Orange Walk Districts.

The Agriculture Ministry said Orange Walk District Agriculture Coordinator Sergio Hernandez opened the training in the northern district while Acting Cayo District Agricultural Coordinator William Can and JICA Belize Office Resident Representative Yoshikazu Tachihara did so in the western district.

JICA expert dispatched to the CARICOM Secretariat Tatsuya Morita observed the potato cultivation training in the Cayo District.

According to MAFSE, the next JICA project‘s training session for potato farmers, aimed at improving post-harvest management and marketing, will be conducted in February 2024.

 

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