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Issue 04

Featuring: Citrus Greening; Successful Organic Production & All About Pitayas.

A New Pest: The Yellow Sugarcane Aphid Infesting Sorghum in Belize

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Plant Health Department, Belize Agricultural Health Authority The yellow sugarcane aphid (Hemiptera:Aphididae) is an invasive specie introduced in the new world and spreading rapidly throughout the American continents. The primary hosts of this pest are sorghum, sugarcane and oats, and secondary hosts are rice, corn, and some pastures. The weed Johnson grass is a preferred host of this pest. If this pest is not controlled on time it can affect the production of sorghum, sugarcane, and other grains in Belize. Air and machinery movements are spreading the aphids. Distribution map The origin of this aphid is Africa and the Middle East. The aphid is also present in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and recently detected for the first time in Little…

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Belize Poultry Association

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Industry: Although the poultry industry com-menced organizing itself more than 20 years ago, it wasn’t until 1996 that it was formally registered as a non-profit or-ganization. The majority of producers and thus its member- ship come from the Mennonite communities of Spanish Lookout in the Cayo District, Blue Creek and Shipyard in the Orange Walk District and Little Belize in the Corozal District. A few small producers raise some poultry outside of these communities mainly for their own use or for local processing and retail. The commercial farm productive sec-tor is made up of 190 Broiler Producers; 180 table egg layer producers, 16 broiler breeders, 1 table egg breeder). The Poultry Industry is the largest Domestic industry in Belize. It…

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Taiwan Technical Mission

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Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Belize Government signed ―The Agricultural Technology Cooperation Agreement‖ in Taipei on October 15, 1990. The ROC Taiwan Technical Mission was sent to Belize in January 1991 to work with Government and people of Belize in agricultural development. The Mission has been engaged in Rice Seed Production,Vegetable and Crop Production Improvement and Extension Projects. In April 1991, a group was sent to Punta Gorda (Toledo), to work in rice technology improvement and demonstration; in August another group was sent to Belize City to work on a project of aquaculture for shrimp cultivation. In January 1992, an extension team worked on a rice and horticulture project in Orange Walk. In December 1999 the ROC Mission started…

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Learning To Live With Citrus Greening Disease

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We are all familiar with CGA (Citrus Growers Assn), but less of us with CREI the Citrus Research & Education Institute. In 2005, during regular citrus disease screening surveys, the vec-tor (carrier of the bacteria) of HLB, the Asian Psyllid bug, was found by CGA nursery employee Ery Burgos. Mr Fernando Majil, another of the CGA team, identified the villain, and sent it off to to Dr. Susan Halbert at U.Florida, Gainsville for con-firmation. At that time, HLB was added to the list of potential citrus diseases for which Belize must survey and test (other diseases CGA are vigilant for include Leprosis [Guatemala and all of C.A have, except Belize], Citrus Canker, and Citrus Vari-gated Clerosis. ) CGA and CREI,…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor, It’s interesting for me to read the BAR, specially all about organic farming. Is it possible to raise milk cows in a ‘natural way’?I mean, to treat them with natural medicine in case of ticks and parasites or mastitis?It seems to be special in this tropical country, a difficult thing. Yours Sincerely, Angelika Schiemann Cayo District   Dear Mrs. Schiemann, We ask our readers to share their knowledge with us all. We do know a family in Pilgrimage Valley who use Colloidal Sil-ver for internal parasite control with horses and dogs. Another interesting fact we have come across, is that cattle which are fed with ‘omega 3’ feed (i.e. salvia hispanica meal, byproduct after oil taken out), have…

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Organic Production – Reflecting Journal

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This month I would like to take a break from the normal direction that the previous articles have taken. This month I would like to give my personal triumphs and failures in relation to getting to the goal of viable organic production. Our team tested many different plant types to seek the best appropriate cultivars for full production growth in Belize. Many test results were less than desirable, but from the failures, we developed an immense knowledge base to progress. We were told of many products that would not work in the soils of Belize, but due to our persistence in discovering the results for ourselves, we forged ahead. Our progress was slightly hampered by the fact that it takes…

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Integration Of Belize Into The Multilateral And Regional Trading System

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I had the privilege of attending a 9 day session on learning about trade between countries around the world. This very special school was sponsored by the OAS (Organization of American States) and held at the UB campus in Belize City. Belize is a member of the WTO (World Trade Organization) and Caricom (Caribbean Community). They talked a lot about Trade Liberalization which means eventually doing away with Tariffs, Quotas and Subsidies. The object is to level the play-ing field for all. But there will always need to be negotiation between countries that will need to consider food shortage, weather and war factions, environmental issues and control-ling the movement of people and animals for disease and sanitary reasons (sensitive areas).…

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BRDP Invest In Agricultural And Rural Development

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BRDP supports the sustainable economic growth of Belizean rural areas by empowering the rural poor and investing with them to create wealth in order to eliminate their poverty. Projects supported by BRDP are proposed by potential beneficiaries who decide on what the BRDP grant will be invested and how their 25% contribution will be made. They implement the projects with the technical assistance and mentoring of BRDP and its partners. BRDP invest in capacity building for enter-prise development, infrastructure and on improving policies and institutions for rural development. To date BRDP has in-vested in some 111 villages through 298 micro-grants to very poor families, 42 small grants to rural groups, 11 small grants to rural institutions, 8 large grants mainly…

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Pitayas – Delicious, Nutritious & A Chef’s Delight

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Have you ever tasted the chilled purple flesh of pitaya? If you have, chances are that you‘ve eaten several since your first one. More and more people are trying these gourmet fruits with fuchsia-pink dragon-like scales and juicy flesh. They like their bright colour, delicious melon-like flavour, and firm texture with crunchy sesame-sized seeds. Of course, many resort chefs appreciate the stunning splash of exotic colour that the pitaya brings to a fruit plate — and the delightful reaction of their guests. We are fortunate that, unlike most places in the world, in Belize you can usually find them at fruit stands and several lar-ger supermarkets during the fruiting season from June to November. Just what is a pitaya and…

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Rural Roots – Stann Creek News

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The recent appointment of Mr. Justaquio Tush as District Agriculture Coordinator for Stann Creek is already improv-ing the ongoing growth in agriculture begun by Mr. C. Marti- nez. Students at area schools are benefiting from the assis-tance of the M.A.F. in agriculture classes and a new initiative introduced by GSC at Delille Academy and Ecumenical High School. GSC Stann Creek, a community based organization, is working with students and faculty to expand the agricul-ture curriculum to include (1) visits to local farms that use sustainable practices and (2) growing vegetables at home. Both efforts are designed to encourage students‘ understand-ing and appreciation of agriculture and its role in the growth of the students and Belize overall. A background in agricul-ture…

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