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Issue 09

Featuring: Cobia Farming; Neem Tree; Pinguin In The Wild & A History Of Reimer Feed Mill.

Belize’s State-of -the-Art Cobia Fish Factory

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Hatchery to offshore fish cages: delighting export and local markets with a gourmet omega-3 fish. PART 1, The Hatchery Tucked away in Dangriga, sits one of Belize’s modern marvels: a state-of-the-art cobia hatchery. Marine Farms Belize Ltd is a subsidiary of Marine Farms ASA, a Norwegian firm which started operations in Belize in 2006, and since 2007 has been selling its omega-3 rich cobia fish (mainly in ‘bullets’- headless, tailless, and gutted) to the U.S., Mexican and Belize markets. (As an EPZ, there is a limit of 5% sold in country.) Cobia, Rachycentrol canadum, is a pelagic fish (indicates does not live mainly on the sea bottom) and is native to Belize. Other Caribbean pelagic fish are mahi mahi, tuna…

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Neem, The Miracle Tree

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The Latin name for Neem is Azadirachta Indica, which literally means “Free Tree of India” where it has been revered for centuries because of its many agricultural and medicinal properties. Neem is a botanical cousin of mahogany belonging to the Meliaceae family and like mahogany, neem trees thrive in Belize and can live between 150 – 200 years. From tiny seeds, they grow slowly the first year and then bolt, reaching heights of 70-100 feet within 3-5 years, at which time they begin to bear fruit. Neem timber, like mahogany, is termite resistant but can be harvested after only 5-7 years. Needing little water, but lots of sun, the neem tree grows in almost any soil including clay soils. With…

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From The Editor

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Ag Shows, School Garden Projects, Seed AuthorityTime to again be thinking about NATS and the Spanish Lookout Expo. We share with you a report on last year’s NATS by MAF’s CAO Mr. Eugene Waight, in our ONLINE ANNEX. Farmers were looking forward to two ag shows in Cayo District in 2011, NATS and the EXPO, but will be disappointed in the latter, which will not be held in 2011. The Spanish Lookout community, after extensive review and discussion, have decided that there is too much controversy to forge ahead with plans for this February 2011. There was no debate about whether the community’s businesses had prospered in the immediate months after last year’s fine show. The controversy was over the…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor, If a radio company in the 1920s claimed that it had mastered the new art of electronics, we would in retrospect regard such a claim as ridiculous. After a century, electronics has matured well beyond what it was in the 1920s, and the new field is now bioengineering. It too is no more refined in the manipulation of genomes than electronics companies were in the 1920s. Yet in their effort to spread manipulated crop genomes worldwide, Monsanto and other companies have put everyone who eats food at risk, using what are crude, early methods for tampering with life itself. Bioengineering uses viruses and bacteria to introduce genes into the nuclei of cells so that for some of them,…

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Organic Production – The Other Use Of Moringa…

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Many articles have been written, touting the benefits and nutrients for Moringa as a food source; but we have chosen to utilize the tree for “Other Uses”… The ascension from seed to a twenty foot tall tree in one year caught our attention. We were spending tons of money on building shade cloth covered structures to block the intense heat that bears down on the vegetables in the field, and decided that there could be a greener and more cost effective solution. Thus, entered Moringa, both PKN1 and Oleifera. We brought in seeds from India that we were utilizing in a test program for a high protein source in Belize. The trees are amazing at the rate of growth and…

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Increasing Crops Natural Soil Fertility and Nutrient Availability

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Belize farmers searching for ways to reduce production costs without sacrificing yields now have a product available to them called Agri-Gro. Agri-Gro is a natural biological growth activator in a liquid concentrate form that contains enzymes, amino acids, plant growth hormones, complex carbohydrates and micronutrients that have been tested extensively for crop yield quality and increase and soil improvement. Plants require 16 essential nutrients including phosphorous, potassium, calcium, magnesium, ammonium, nitrate, boron, manganese, copper, iron, zinc and molybdenum. Many of these nutrients may be in the soil but not available to the crop. Some of them are in applied fertilizers that may not be entirely efficient. The increased enzymatic and microbial activity stimulated by Agri-Gro works to release these unavailable…

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Beyond The Backyard – Save The Penguins

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I was discussing my garden project with a friend who is a phythologist eager to pick his brain on plant behaviour. Now if you (like wikipedia) tell me that this is not a word I will indeed beg to differ. It is a very old word that has been lost from language along with the knowledge of the importance of symbiosisand common sense. A lost “ology”. Anyway it will be back. We chatted about garden pests. You may spray everything with chemicals, yes, or you could make a concoction of soapy, garlicky, pepper spray if you need ammunition. Alternatively, if you consider that mostly everything in life has a purpose you could try to pay more attention to what the…

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Oceans Of Orchids At The Taiwan Technical Mission

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Orchids are the #1 potted flower in the world, especially in the foreign markets of Taiwan, Japan and the U.S.A. (formerly the pointsetta held this position). The Phalaenopsis, a native to S.E. Asia, also known as the butterfly or moth orchid, is the most popular type of house orchid. (Phaluna is Greek for ‘moth’.) Total world production is estimated at 250-300 Milion plants/yr, and of this, Taiwan, known as Kingdom of the Phalaenopsis, produces about half. In 2008 Taiwan produced 135M Phalaenopsis plants. Of these, main export markets were 30M to the U.S., 30M to Europe, and 15M to Japan. Formerly Taiwan composed 50% of the world market, but the U.S. market now purchases 60-70% of Taiwan’s potted phalaenopsis production.…

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Marketing Strategy For Modern Agriculture

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In these modern times of Agribusiness, which is the application of business principles to the production of agricultural products and services, Agri-Marketing is one of the most important strategies that entrepreneurs invest in to guarantee that their products will get to the consumer at the right time, place and price. It is obvious that our producers in the rural communities need marketing skills in order to survive in this competitive market. Agri-marketing strategyrequires the application of the 4 P’s: Product, Price, Promotion and Physical Distribution. Product – vegetables, grains, fruits, etc or services (rentals,sales, materials supplies, etc). Some products are more perishable than others. A marketing strategy must include a consideration of product perishability as well as losses due to…

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From The Mexican Side – Restoring The Ancient Trade Routes

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Translated by Maruja Vargas For Spanish Original See ONLINE ANNEX   EXPORTATION Roxana Lili Campos Miranda Licensed to practice law in Mexico roxanacamp@yahoo.com.mx There exists a false belief that conducting business outside one’s country is reserved for those few entrepreneurs who have large amounts of capital and that it is a difficult and complex process. This belief is far from reality. This sequence of steps is for those who wish to export from Belize to Mexico for the first time. The sequence of the export operation is very important. Attempting a different order can cause problems to the destination country that you must attend to before the commodity leaves the country of origin. The first thing to do after you…

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