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International Atomic Energy Agency conducts 3-day workshop to enhance resilience of Belize’s agriculture sector using nuclear and isotopic techniques

Posted: Thursday, November 23, 2023. 6:02 pm CST.

Nuclear and isotopic techniques workshop at SIRDI in Buena Vista, Corozal – Photo Credit: MAFSE

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is conducting a three-day workshop at the Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute (SIRDI) in Buena Vista, Corozal District, as part of a project to enhance the resilience of Belize’s agriculture sector.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security, and Enterprise (MAFSE) said the project aims to use nuclear and isotopic techniques (NIT) to improve soil and crop water use efficiency and sustainability in rainfed farming systems.

The training session, which runs from November 22 to 24, 2023, is led by Dr. Joseph Adu-Gyamfi, a soil scientist and crop nutritionist from IAEA. He is providing technical guidance and support to the various experimental trials that have been set up at SIRDI, MAFSE, and the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

The project will introduce NIT methods that will help optimize nitrogen fertilizer use and enhance soil fertility and water management for sugarcane, corn, soybean, rice and sorghum crops.

By using nitrogen-15 labelled fertilizers in greenhouse and field settings, the project will be able to track the fate of this vital nutrient and develop evidence-based fertilizer recommendations that will help farmers achieve higher nitrogen use efficiency. MAFSE said the NIT project will benefit small farmers by increasing their productivity and improving their socioeconomic status.

Nuclear and isotopic techniques workshop conducted by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at SIRDI in Buena Vista, Corozal – Photo Credit: MAFSE

 

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