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Belize represented at capacity-building course on Empowerment and Promotion of Small-Scale Farmers for Market-Oriented Agriculture for Latin American countries

Posted: Saturday, May 25, 2024. 11:19 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Ministry of Agriculture is being represented in a three-week capacity-building course on Empowerment and Promotion of Small-Scale Farmers for Market-Oriented Agriculture for Latin American countries.

A total of 8 countries and 17 scholars have been participating in the theoretical training of the course.

The training is facilitated through the Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Official Development Assistance Program of the Government of Japan.

It is divided into segments: a theoretical course, which was held in Japan for two weeks, and a practical session module, which is to start on May 27 in Bolivia.

The course, which is facilitated in Spanish, aims to improve the livelihood of small farms by transforming subsistence farmers into business-oriented farmers.

It encourages farmers to start with a market survey to understand consumer preferences and market demands. Farmers are then trained to produce high-quality crops that meet these demands.

The approach includes components such as:

  1. **Market Surveys**: Farmers learn to conduct surveys to identify market needs, preferred crop varieties, and the best times to sell.


  1. **Participatory Training**: Farmers participate in training sessions that cover best agricultural practices, post-harvest handling, and value addition.


  1. **Group Dynamics**: Farmers are encouraged to work in groups to improve bargaining power, reduce costs, and share knowledge.


  1. **Record Keeping and Financial Management**: Training includes how to keep detailed records of expenses and income to better manage finances.


  1. **Gender Mainstreaming**: The approach promotes the active participation of women in all activities to ensure gender equity in agricultural practices and decision-making.


  1. **Crop Calendarization**: Farmers learn to plan their planting and harvesting schedules to align with market demand, ensuring better timing for higher profits.

The Ministry noted that adapting this approach will not only help farmers to understand their market but will also help them to schedule their crop production for better marketing and control, thus reducing losses and increasing profits.


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