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Issue 11

Featuring: A History Of Sawmilling & Copal.

Belize’s Agriculture Potential Through Expansion

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Every Yahoo & Google news center is usually reporting a concern about food shortages, climate change, occasional sicknesses caused by food, and an increase in population. They say that every day 1 billion people go to bed hungry and 2 billion are living on $1.00 to $2.00 U.S a day. Their diet is sorghum porridge, a bit of rice and a bread or tortilla product of some sort. Meat, fruits and vegetables are considered seldom-afforded luxuries. Does that message sound like Belize? Not at all! On market day or at most food markets “We do have food like sand.” Because of our small population we can find jobs, ketch & kill, hustle food or money and if you go to…

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Copal

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Scientific Name: Protium copal Common Name: Copal, Pom Parts Used: Tree Resin Copal is from the Nahuatl language and the word is derived from “copalli,” which means incense; Nahuatl was the language of the Aztecs. In Belize, copal is used as incense and can be found in most market places in the country; they are sold in one pound blocks of resin in its most natural form, with complimentary pieces of dried bark, leaves and drunken baymen, wrapped in leaf parcels. The Mayan and Mestizo population in Toledo, commonly burn pieces of copal on coals for spiritual cleansing. Copal has been used in ancient Maya and Aztec ceremony as a ritual offering to the gods and so we can see…

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From The Editor

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Tribute is due to the silent editor of The Belize Ag Report, John C. Roberson, Sr. who passed away on February 7, 2011 at the age of 82 years. Although John did not initially support the establishment of the BAR because of the cost, after his long-time friend, John Carr, enthusiastically came on board as assistant editor, he began to re-evaluate. Seeing his friend’s steady support and sensing the positive feedback and encouragement from readers, my John changed his mind and contributed significantly to the growth of the BAR, just as he had contributed for over 50 years to the growth of the agriculture sector in Belize. He drove me around, kept my vehicle running, accompanied me on field trips,…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor, Please save Belize from the “ignorant”! Your recent publication carried a letter titled “while we are starving, blame GMO”, and went on to make various erroneous statements about GMO crops, concluding that Belize should not allow GM seeds to be used here, as the risks far outweigh the benefits. The author demonstrated considerable ignorance of the facts about GM products, and made statements which were not backed up scientifically. Belize has been importing food eg breakfast cereals and cooking oils made from GM products for years. GM products have been rigorously tested in the USA and Europe for years and have been found not to have any adverse affects on humans or cattle. The author states that “Bioengineering…

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Organic Production Bugs In The Garden!

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When we think of bugs in the garden, many bells and whistles sound the alarm, but actually, bugs in the garden can be a wonderful addition. I am referencing the beneficial insects. Now, let’s list the predators. The Predators: The ladybugs, called Coccinellids. They feed on aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and mites. Predatory ladybugs are usually found on plants where aphids or scale insects are, and they lay their eggs near their prey, to increase the likelihood that the larvae will find the prey easily. Coccinellids also require a source of pollen for food and are attracted to specific types of plants. The most popular ones are any type of mustard plant, as well as other early blooming nectar and…

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Beyond The Backyard – Bathtime Buddy (Loofah)

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Anyone growing up in a cold climate may have come to regard bath time as the best part of the day. For soaking, relaxing, dreaming, planning, and pondering, the tub is the perfect place. Here I am steeped in bubbles of a magical mineral mix considering the meaning of survival and how it relates to sustainability. What a complexity! Look around at all the communities becoming reliant on commercially packaged foods and bottled drinks, cultivating a taste for imports. Survival will come only from knowledge of the natural products that surround us and respectful preservation of the environment. There is, however, a back swing from the ultra-main-stream consumerist way of thinking: a life that embraces curiosities instead of dampening it…

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Brazil’s Candidate For Director General Of The Fao, Dr. Jose Graziano Da Silva

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Former President of Brazil, President Ignacio Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva presented in late 2010, his country’s nominee for Director General of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr. Jose Graziano da Silva. The new Brazilian head of state, President Dilma Rousseff has likewise endorsed Dr. Graziano da Silva. The elections will be held in Rome which is the home of FAO headquarters, at their 37th Conference there between June 25 to July 2, 2011. Belize has enthusiastically endorsed and supports Dr Graziano da Silva’s candidacy. Dr. Graziano da Silva’s first degree was in Agronomy, then graduate degrees (2 masters, one PhD then post doctoral degrees) in Rural Economics ,Sociology, Economic Sciences, Latin American Studies and Environmental Studies…

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History of Sawmilling

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Circle sawing lumber has been around for many hundreds of years, and even with the introduction of the portable bandsaw about 30yrs. Ago, the basic goal is still the same: to get a usable piece of lumber from a log. Early on, prior to the invention of engines and the modern sawmill, lumber or planks were made by splitting, shaving or planing the wood until it was usable. Later, with the invention of the cross-cut saw and the whipsaw, better lumber could be made faster. With the whipsaw, one man was on top of the log and another was underneath in a pit, and it is not surprising that the man in the pit was appropriately called the ‘Pitman’. Regardless…

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Getting To Know The Haccp Standards For Food Safety

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The mission of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) is to provide optimum, competent and professional services in food safety, quarantine, and plant and animal health in order to safeguard the health of the nation and facilitate trade and commerce. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), administered in Belize by BAHA, is a food safety certification program that was literally “launched” by the space program when the US-based National Air and Space Administration (NASA) needed to provide the first foods that would remain safe for consumption in outer space. Pillsbury Foods developed that system which has evolved into the current HACCP standards for food safety, now the accepted standard for importing and exporting foods throughout the world. HACCP is based…

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From the Mexican Side

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T ourism contributes to the revitalization of the culture, the customs and the arts, and signifies an incoming fountain of renewal for the receiving population. Nevertheless, without control or planning, tourism may adversely affect for the quality of life, and convert cultural expressions, leaving them without content. Given that tourism is a multidisciplinary activity, one needs to be specialized in the study of cultural diversity and in intercultrual, commercial and economic relations. Political boundaries need to dissolve so that nature has no borders, only cultural and intercultural characteristics. It is important to note that the realization of the sustainability of tourism depends largely on the authenticity of the regional culture. For this to be made posible, one has to insert…

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