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Vegetable farmers from Northern Belize attend training session on vegetable production under covered structures

Posted: Friday, October 27, 2023. 12:26 pm CST.

Farmers participating in the Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers Project training session. (Photo Credit: MAFSE) 

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers Project held a training session for approximately 25 vegetable farmers on Thursday at the Yo Creek Agricultural Station in Yo Creek, Orange Walk.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise said the Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers Project financed by Caricom Development Fund (CDF) aims to help vegetable growers in Belize cope with the challenges of weather variability and vegetable production.

“In Belize, where vegetable production is often at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions, the Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers project is making significant strides in improving the lives of local farmers,” MAFSE said in a statement on social media.

The project beneficiaries from the Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize Districts participated in a training session.

Farmers who participated in the Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers Project training session. (Photo Credit: MAFSE)   

“This training is a vital component of the initiative, and it specifically targets women and disadvantaged youth who are eager to make a difference in their communities,” MAFSE said.

“The key objective of this project is to boost the volume of vegetables available in the local market, with an emphasis on those produced under covered structures. The ultimate goal is to enhance the consistency of production, while simultaneously increasing the income and improving the quality of life for the project’s beneficiaries.”

MAFSE Communications Director Luis Pook said the Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers project is a follow up to the CDF Covered Structures Project started last year. The beneficiaries who received the greenhouses are now getting training in covered structures’ best practices.

Thirty 18 feet x 60 feet structures valued at approximately $10,000 and financed by the Caricom Development Fund were built countrywide last year by the Horticulture Unit crew under Harold Wesby.

Support to Small Disadvantaged Farmers Project training session. (Photo Credit: MAFSE) 

Pook said the Caricom Development Fund project has a value of US $200,000.

“The Government is eager to implement projects of this type that are going to benefit the farmers, that are going to improve their livelihoods, that are going to ensure that they have enhanced security and particularly that women and disadvantaged youths of rural areas have a chance to do something for themselves,” said Pook last year when the CDF was embarking in the greenhouses construction phase.

Pook said the CDF project targets women, disadvantaged youths, and small-scale vegetable producers.

“Use of the covered structures helps with minimizing climate change factors, enhances productivity while protecting from pests. It also is in line with Plan Belize targets for agriculture of reducing imports and growing what we eat.”



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