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Issue 20

Featuring: Beekeeping; Solar Dried Fruit & Coconut Industry.

Fruit-Full – Solar Dried Fruits Of Belize.

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‘Fruit-Full’, producing organic, high quality, solar-dried fruits, is a business project designed to bring sustainable futures to the indigenous and native populations of the Central American and Caribbean region. Located in southern Belize, Fruit-Full works with Sustainable Harvest International (Belize) and Plenty Belize, non-governmental organizations associated with agriculture, through trainings and field work. The products of Fruit-Full are the maximum health and quality tropical fruits of the region, dehydrated in solar dryers and full of nutrition. Our motto, “nothing added but the sun” holds for all fruits except mammee, cashew fruit and star fruit (carambola), which have honey added because we have found it enhances the finished product. Drying fruit is labor intensive and quality handling is the watchword. All…

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To The Editor

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Editor’s note: The Belize Ag Report acknowledges and respects the need for dialogue among the agricultural community. Publication of a letter or an article does not indicate endorsement by The Belize Ag Report of the views and content therein.   Dear Editor, Thank you for the opportunity to express an opinion in your newsletter. I have had the honor and great privilege to work for decades with traditional healers of Belize to record and preserve their ancient systems of medicine. With Dr. Michael Balick of the New York Botanical Garden, we have published several books on the subject. This year, Oxford University Press will publish The Ethnobotany of Belize, a 700 page tome that represents our work with man and…

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Gmo Technology – Fear Or Future?

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“Cómo me arrepiento no haberme impuesto y haber dicho no a tanta novelería” Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, September 1st,2012. “How do I regret not insisting and instead saying no to such a novel technology?”These are the words of Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, as he delivered his weekly Saturday address to the nation on September 1st , 2012. During his stunning speech, President Correa publicly apologized, saying ‘it was an error’ to have declared “Ecuador as a country free of transgenics in the Constitution”. President Correa strongly opposed what he called opposition to genetic engineering by “fundamentalists who are afraid of the truth”. Following in the footsteps of the Ecuadoran President, Mark Lynas, the environmentalist and award-winning science author, began…

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Energetic Agriculture & Pests Farming Without Chemicals

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When Albert Einstein’s E = mc2 burst on the world scene over eight decades ago, mankind’s knowledge of God’s universe suddenly exploded, especially after he met Frank LaMotte and Carey Reams. The trio worked out how to translate some of the secrets of God’s universe into formulas suitable for farm applications – taking apart the atom and putting it back together in farming for mankind’s sustenance. The lofty Platonic abstractions given by Einstein to Reams and LaMotte later became Dr. Carey Reams “Biological Theory of Ionization”. But for Reams’ theory to be helpful to farmers, they need instruments to measure what happens in the soil and plant. This is where Frank LaMotte, the chemist, comes in; today the LaMotte agriculture…

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Apples Of Belize – Sugar Apple or Custard Apple

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The Sugar apple is another tropical fruit that is commonly known as an apple, but the tree and fruit are not botanically members of the apple family. The Sugar apple’s botanical name is Annona squamosal. It is the most widely grown member of the over two- thousand member Annonaceae family. Like most tropical fruits, different cultures have many names for this frut including, custard apple, vid anon de azocar, granadilla, saramoyo, pinyon, sakya, Buah nana. In India it is known as sita fruit, literally translated as “fruit with so many seeds the monkeys will not eat them”. Sugar apples are close cousins to the cherimoya and atemoya, which is a hybrid of the Sugar apple and the cherimoya. This delightful…

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Beyond The Backyard – Palmistry

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The palm: its leaf is like the spread of a hand. I thought I would talk about palms as Palm Sunday is coming up marking the beginning of the Holy week of Easter. As Jesus entered Jerusalem palms were scattered by the faithful across his path as a sign of respect. The palm has been incorporated into the services of the Christian faith where processions involve the waving of palm branches and small crosses are made from the fronds. In 1995 Columbia banned this practice as the palm species was threatened by possible extinction due to over harvesting. Indeed there has been much controversy relating to the over cutting and destruction of palms in the rainforest for the production of…

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A VISIT TO IX CHEL FARM’S ORGANIC GARDEN

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Hippocrates’ maxim “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” is evident in the garden of Drs. Rosita Arvigo and Greg Shropshire at Ix Chel Farm. They shared some of their successful organic methods and philosophy with The Belize Ag Report during a visit to their Western Cayo District farm. Two gardens of approximately 18’ x 18’ next to their home provide herbs used in their medical practice, table food for themselves and last year over 1000 salads for participants of seminars held there. “The sun is the worst thing and the best thing,” spouts Rosita, claiming that “the sun supplies 96% of the energy to transform nutrients” for plants. But if the soil isn’t protected from…

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New John Deere 8285R Tractor Arrives in Spanish Lookout

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One of the larger rubber tire tractors produced by John Deere was custom ordered and imported to Belize recently by Westrac Ltd. The 8285R model (8= the series, 285 = hp, R=premium package), manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.A. arrived via Hyde’s Shipping for the Spanish Lookout buyer. The 8R series is John Deere’s largest series of unarticulated tractors. These range between 235 and 360 horsepower, and the newly arrived intelligent tractor sits midway in that line-up with 285 horse power. The model boasts dual front and rear wheels, along with a computerized ILS front axle, and weighs over 30,000 lbs. The ability to run on Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), in which precise engine and ground speed are monitored and controlled,…

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Food Safety Standards for Export to the U.S.

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Belize foods exports must meet the U.S. food safety standards under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4th 2011. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 48 million people in the U.S. get sick (1 in 6 Americans), 128,000 are hospitalized and 3000 die each year from food-borne disease illness. The FSMA strengthens the food safety system, enabling the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to better protect public health by giving FDA new tools and authorities to make certain imported foods meet the same safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. The following are among FDA’s key new import authorities and mandates:…

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Market Activity at BEL-CAR

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As the leading container exporter from Belize City, Bel-Car is working hard to fill its orders for red kidney (RK) beans and black-eyed peas. The RK bean market is good this year and Bel-Car is shipping them out as fast as they are being delivered to them by the farmers, 4 – 5 shipping containers per week bound for Jamaica. The U.S. also ships Rks to Jamaica but there are three factors currently favoring Belize (1) beans from Belize are not subject to the 40% duty the importers have to pay for U.S. beans because of the CARICOM Free Trade Agreement, (2) the drought in the U.S. reduced their yield considerably and (3) the Jamaican bins are understocked. Because of…

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