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Belize Ag Report

Belize Ag Report has 125 articles published.

Old Crops Become New: Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batata) Part 2

in Issue 37 by

An Underutilised Tropical Root By Santiago Juan An Underutilized Root Sweet potato is a plant grown for its tuberous roots in tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate regions. As mentioned in the last Belize Ag Report, issue 36, sweet potato is cultivated for food in more than 100 countries, sometimes as a staple food but usually as an alternative food. All varieties of sweet potato are a good source of vitamins and minerals. In East Africa, the sweet potato is known as “the protector of children” because it is often the only food that stands between a child’s survival and starvation. A fast-maturing perennial plant, it is grown mainly as an annual. The roots are adventitious, mostly located within the top 25…

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Belmopan Weekend Farmers’ Market at NATS Grounds

in Featured/Issue 37 by

By Sally Thackery  The new pavilions at the Belmopan showgrounds are now open on Saturdays and Sundays for local farmers to sell their products to the public. Opening day, Saturday July 29, was lively and well-attended, by both the public and the market sellers. Big thanks to CEO Jose Alpuche and Show Grounds Coordinator Gary Ramirez for such a bright vision for this property at the entrance to Belmopan. The entire showgrounds have been cleaned up, mowed, landscaped with beautiful plants and vendor stalls have been colorfully painted. These detailed improvements also include a new entrance gate, bathrooms in all sections and designated parking areas.In addition to fresh vegetables, the market offers dry goods, eco-friendly cleaning products, fruit trees, flowering…

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Rice: Circle R’s Contribution to Food Security in Belize

in Issue 37 by

By Jeffrey Magaña The highest priority for Circle R Products Limited, a farmer-owned business, is food security for Belize. Their newest product, Dalla Rice, was recently introduced to provide a 14 oz. package of grade A rice for $1. Harvest for Kids is grade A premium rice; Jade is grade B; Ruby, grade C and Topaz, grade D. The Harvest for Kids product is named for the socially responsible project it supports. A percentage of the sale of all Harvest for Kids rice goes to support Belize Camping Experience in Belize City, summer Bible camps and work with kids in schools throughout the city. We believe that if our children are inspired today, our country can become a better place.…

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Fusarium spp.: An Important Disease of Soybeans

in Issue 37 by

By Felix Cawich, Agronomist, M.Sc. Worldwide, soybean is considered an important crop for the production of oil and as a source of protein for people and animals. In addition, it´s now being used for biodiesel production. According to the Worldwide Web Foundation (WWF), soybean production has grown 10 times in the last 50 years, covering over one million square kilometres. The increasing production area, like the increase in yield of monocultivation, has also led to higher presence of disease in soy plantations. Furthermore, the varying climate may favor rapid development of diseases. Important Diseases Diseases originating from different microorganisms can cause blights, cankers, rots, rusts, wilts and others, causing damage to different parts of the plant at any given growth…

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Maya Mountain Heirloom Cacao

in Issue 37 by

What Makes Belizean Cacao So Special?  Understanding Genetics of Belizean Cacao Beans  By Dan O’Doherty & Minehaha Forman   In the rapidly growing world of specialty craft chocolate, Belize has earned its place among the fine flavored origins of cacao. Known for its unique fruity/caramel flavor, Belize cacao has won numerous awards in recent years. Cacao beans originating from Maya villages in the Toledo district of Belize and processed by Maya Mountain Cacao, Ltd (MMC) recently received an heirloom designation from the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA). The cacao sample was made into chocolate and blind-tasted by a panel of nine veteran chocolate companies including Guittard, Valrhona, and Felchlin. Panelists universally praised the sample for its overall high quality, as…

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Dear Veggie Detective

in Issue 37 by

Dear Veggie Detective, Would you please investigate the mystery of the white-centered tomato? Why do some tomatoes have white centers and others are all red and tasty? Signed, Tomato Lover         Dear Tomato Lover, Your mystery is solved! Tomatoes with white centers have a deficiency in potassium, an element abbreviated as K because phosphorus was assigned the letter P. Basic fertilizers that you buy have three main elements: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and are designated in 3 numbers which corresponds to these three elements. If your soil doesn’t need N or P you can buy elemental potassium fertilizer. Potassium will give you not only the nice red color on your tomatoes but bigger fruit…

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IICA Supports the Institutional Strengthening of the Pesticide Control Board

in Issue 35 by

The Pesticide Control Board (PCB) is the main statutory body responsible for regulating the use and management of pesticides in Belize. There are currently 565 pesticide formulations registered for use in Belize and listed in the official register of pesticides, containing some 193+ active ingredients. Registration, surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of the responsible use and management of so many pesticides is no small task for the staff at PCB. Its importance is underscored considering that agriculture plays an important role in Belize’s economy, contributing almost 13% to GDP, and employing about 10% of the population at the end of 2015. Belize has increased its use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals over the years due to more intensification and commercial development…

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