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Issue 08

Featuring: Papaya Exportation; Curb Diabetes With Local Produce & Corn.

Belize Implements Poultry Plan Equivalent To Usa

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BAHA and the Belize Poultry Association (BPA) have implemented the Belize Poultry Improvement Plan (BPIP) which is equivalent to the USA National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). Following attendance at the 2008 NPIP Conference in the USA, BAHA and BPA considered it worthwhile to implement a similar plan in Belize. Thus, the NPIP provisions were adapted to Belize by BAHA and BPA officers then discussed with the hatcheries and broiler breeders. Once consensus was obtained from all stakeholders, initial Plan activities began in September last year. The Poultry Improvement Plan is managed by government and industry to certify poultry farms and hatcheries as free from certain poultry diseases thus providing health quality assurance for hatching eggs and day-old poultry. The USDA…

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Toledo Cacao Growers Association A Thriving Industry In The South

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Toledo Cacao Growers Association is a not-for-profit organization created in 1984 whose aim is to “Improve the socio- economic standard of living of its members through competitive and diversified system of production that incorporates sound ecological practices”. Today more than 1100 subsistence farmers (primarily in Toledo and South Stann Creek Districts) are engaged in cacao production. Its members are divided into 52 communities in the Toledo, Stann Creek and Cayo Districts who produce 47 tons of cacao beans annually. Having become a fully functional cooperative in 1984, farmers continued to farm and supply the local market (Hershey) until the late 80’s when they experienced a declining price and market collapse, forcing them to abandon their farms. After a period of…

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New Book Describes Mennonites in Belize

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One of the ironies of life is that people who want to live quiet lives, separated from much of what goes on in the world, would attract so much attention. In the USA, the state of Pennsylvania built a freeway addition for easier access by tourists to the Amish in Lancaster county – a county which a decade ago would have been ranked tenth among the nations of the world in agricultural output had it been categorized as such. And now, the Mennonites of Belize are of interest to Dutch sociologists who have spent time in Blue Creek, Spanish Lookout, and other colonies, to observe and analyze their ways. These are academic researchers whose new book, Between Horse & Buggy…

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Citrus Nurseries – Notice to Citrus Nursery Owners, Potential Nursery Owners and Citrus Growers

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All nursery owners and growers are notified of the following: Currently, there are no certified citrus nurseries in Belize. It is against the laws of Belize to produce citrus trees in a nursery that is not certified. Nursery owners are reminded that since the discovery of Huanglongbing (HLB), a very serious bacterial disease of citrus, all citrus plants must now be produced under psyllid-proof screen (the psyllid is the insect that spreads the HLB disease) in accordance with S.I. 122 of 2009 – laws of Belize. Before establishing a citrus nursery owners must complete an application for submission to the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI). This will register the nursery under the Belize Citrus Certification Programme (BCCP) as mandated…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor, I am a resident of the US. I have traveled to Belize and enjoy the country a great deal. In fact I have enjoyed it so much that I am looking for opportunities in the country either to travel to on a more regular basis or move to. I own a seed and farm equipment business in Oregon. I over- see some of my own seed production, distribute, wholesale, and retail every type of seed available to grow in my location. I also sell farm equipment. Tractors, implements, sprayers. I found your Cane ethanol article particularly interesting, as it is something that I had thought about for Belize myself. I am not familiar with Petrojam, but will do…

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Organic Production – A Tale Of Three Sisters

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In the Native American nation of the Iroquois Indians, the three sisters lived. The three sisters were actually a reference to the method of planting for three of the primary staple vegetables for the nation. The three were planted together on a mound and assisted each other during their growth. Corn was placed at the center of the mound, and provided a trellis for her other sister, the Bean. Two weeks after the corn was planted, the other two sisters were introduced to the fold. Beans were planted at the base of the corn to be supported with the corn stalk, and to provide nitrogen to the other two sisters of the mound. The third sister was Squash and was…

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From The Mexican Side – Restoring The Ancient Trade Routes

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For our article this issue, we’d like to summarize the effects of our product exploration and our work thus far. It has become clear to us that: our company, Operadora de las Tortugas, is interested in working with small producers instead of huge quantities of agricultural products. We encourage quality that favors higher prices. We feel this best suits the niche market and potential of Quintana Roo. An example is the chocolate produced in southern Belize: small operations, very high quality, thus easier to sell for desirable results with both buyer and producer. We have noticed that as soon as there is a demand for a certain product, everybody begins growing or producing the same product and this ensures that…

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Beyond The Backyard – Swamp Thing

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I was given a couple of recommendations for trees to add to “the perfect garden” list: coco plum, moringa and neem. The first is great for shade but it’s fruit; a cross between a marshmallow and a cotton ball is definitely an acquired taste . The second is absolutely wonderful in scrambled eggs or an omelette besides all of its touted health benefits. Neem is an excellent inclusion as it keeps pests, such as aphids and mosquitos at bay and can be used for many medicinal purposes. The next suggestion was “coconut boy”. What? Is this something like a garden gnome or a pink flamingo?…..true godwottery! After a brief description I ascertain that it is a local name for the…

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Jatropha Diesel Processing Centre at Central Farm

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A national two-year project entitled: “Jatropha Innovation Center for Community-Adopted Technologies and Development in Belize” was approved for funding by the OAS, with plans for execution by MAF. The Central Farm Research and Development Department, MAF, is responsible for the establishment of a Jatropha curcas Oil Extraction and Utilization Centre that will provide processing and also demonstrate use of jatropha oil as an energy option. Although the subject of renewable energy isn’t new to Belize, bio-diesel and agro-fuel adaptability by small farmers is a fresh and growing concept. Central Farm’s collaborative efforts are to identify factors and make recommendations for promotion of bio-fuel production for small scale farmers which will assist in the alleviation of rural poverty. Jatropha (Jatropha curcas…

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Ask Rubber Boots

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Dear Rubber Boots, Do you know of any organic compound for killing cockroaches? Signed, Mrs. D.A. Dear Mrs. D.A., Diatomaceous earth (DE), which is 84% silicon dioxide (silica), is a natural, organic insect killer. DE kills by physical action and not by chemical so there is no harm to pets or humans. The tiny hard and sharp diatoms scratch off the insect’s waxy coating, causing it to dehydrate. Bugs can not become immune to its effects. Use DE for control of roaches, silverfish, ants, fire ants, bedbugs, lice, mites, spiders, flies, fleas, scorpions, crickets and many other insects. DE can be used in and around the home, yard, animal housing, etc. It will not harm earthworms or beneficial soils microorganisms,…

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