Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Featured/Issue 38

Unleashing the Potential of Under-utilised Crops: Breadfruit by Santiago Juan

Belize has been blessed with edible landscapes. Take breadfruit, or masapan in Spanish, for example. In Belize you can see breadfruit growing in all our districts. In both northern districts you see old trees still producing well in very calcareous soils; in southern Belize large trees can be seen in low lying areas and brackish water like in Hopkins Village or along the Sittee River, a testament to the great adaptation ability of this humble plant. Most Belizeans have eaten breadfruit at least once in their lifetime; yet it is probably the most underutilized crop growing in Belize. Nowadays, it is attracting the attention of gourmets and some Caribbean countries are making small shipments to the United States, Canada and… Keep Reading

Featured/Issue 38

Directorate General of Foreign Trade – Trade Opportunities with Cuba

By John Rivero Deputy Prime Minister (DPM), the Honourable Patrick Faber, made an official visit to the Republic of Cuba from 22nd to 26th of May 2017. The objective of this state visit was to strengthen a bi-lateral relationship with Cuba. He was accompanied by a delegation of ten from the Government of Belize which included ministers, CEOs, directors, and Ambassador Burns accredited to Cuba. Belize and Cuba have always had good relations but bi-lateral trade and investment have been almost insignificant despite an existing trade agreement in place. The CARICOM-Cuba Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (TECA), originally signed by both parties in 2000, was recently re-negotiated with a sScond Protocol to amend the TECA. Belize’s trade officials have learnt,… Keep Reading

Featured/Issue 38

Bamboos for Belize by Marquita Stanko and Taylor Walker

Bamboos are some of the most useful plant species on earth. There are over 1000 species of bamboo distributed throughout the world that have been used for many practical purposes throughout history such as building shelter, making everyday tools and utensils and even as a food product. Bamboos originate from tropical, subtropical and temperate climates and grow on a wide range of soils. Many of the finest native and non-native bamboo species thrive right here in Belize. Our bamboo project began in 2005 in Rancho Dolores, Belize District with the formation of Tropical Agro-Forestry, Ltd. Our desire was to introduce new varieties in Belize that exhibit exceptional characteristics for use in furniture making, landscaping and interior construction. We began working… Keep Reading

Issue 38

To The Editor

Dear Editor, Yes, I love that you have both print and online versions and really love the Ag Report! It’s been such a great tool to find people and places that provide needed materials. It’s so helpful for us as far as providing information about local/medicinal plants and growing/processing methods in tropical conditions. I think my favorite part is that it includes the voice of so many people and allows them to respectfully share their opinions, information and the diverse projects that are happening in their areas. Thanks for all of your hard work and efforts to bring to light the wealth of knowledge here! Cissy Stanko, Rancho Dolores, Belize District Keep Reading

Issue 38

AgScience for Better Crops: Plant Nutrition By Felix C. Cawich

All living organisms require nutrients for adequate growth, development and functionality in order to survive. Plants have the capacity to produce their own food through the conversion of light energy into a sugar (glucose), in a process called photosynthesis, which is the base of biomass formation. For this, plants require sufficient light, suitable temperature, substances such as CO2, oxygen and a number of nutrients (FAO, 2006). As plant constituents, nutrients play a vital role in biochemical reactions, and the production of organic material. To obtain high agricultural yields an optimal nutrient program is required, whereby plants absorb nutrients from soil reserves or external sources, where water is the main carrier. Nutrients can be added either to the soil or leaves… Keep Reading

Issue 38

Beyond the Backyard Aloe: An Excellent Choice by Jenny Wildman

Aloe vera has been revered as a healing plant for centuries and graces gardens throughout the world. The Maya called it the fountain of youth. Others know it as the immortality plant, savila, kumari, first aid plant, Barbados aloe, crocodile tail, lily of the desert, xabila, simple Bible, single Bible and here in Creole sink am Bible, names showing confidence in its power to cure most ailments. There are hundreds of species of aloe but only one proudly carrying the name “true” ie: aloe vera or Aloe barbadensis which is thought closely related to the Aloe perryl endemic to Yemen. Aloe vera originated in northern Africa and is depicted on murals in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, where it… Keep Reading

Featured/Issue 38

Establishing A Coconut Plantation By George Emmanuel & Omaira Avila Rostant

Coconut (Cocos nucifera) is a palm that flourishes in tropical and subtropical areas, the fruit of which has many uses; it has been a major ingredient in the diets of many people living on tropical islands, creating a very lucrative industry worldwide. In recent years, the demand for coconut product has increased exponentially. It was reported that from 2008 to 2014 alone the demand for coconut products increased 700%, especially for water, milk, oil, fibres, and cosmetics. Such hasty growth has increased the demand for establishing plantations that can supply the high worldwide demand for coconuts. In Belize this opportunity has encouraged the establishment of acres of coconuts in new plantations. Here are some factors to be considered and recommendations… Keep Reading

Issue 38

Coconut Oil Standards – By Dottie Feucht

The coconut oil industry in Belize recently had a big boost in terms of standards and specifications for quality. Standards Officer Lloyd Orellano, from Belize Bureau of Standards, assisted by Omaira Avila Rostant, from Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) presented them on September 28 at Central Farm. Omaira’s expertise in growing and processing coconuts filled in experiential details to the standards. Coconut oil comes from the mature kernel of the coconut (Cocos nucifera Linnaeus) by a process of expression (extraction by using pressure), solvent extraction or other approved method of processing. In addition to common standards, such as it must be free from admixture with other oils or fats, there are specific ones for the three types of… Keep Reading

Issue 38

Slow Release Fertilisers from Pyrolysis of Agricultural Residues

Creating Value out of Agricultural residues to Regenerate Soil Fertility by Ingrid Espinoza, Stephen Joseph, Vasco Masias & Felix Froese The goal of this project is to contribute to the preservation of the biodiversity that characterizes one of the most privileged places in the world. An important challenge of the 21st century is to maintain sustainable crop yield for an expanding population and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without damaging ecosystems. To achieve this goal we need to build up soil carbon and beneficial microorganisms and eliminate the lost macro and micronutrients in using renewable energy. This project is unique as it combines pyrolysis or residues with CO2 capture and the production of healthy food (spirulina). Integrated System for the Production… Keep Reading

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