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Issue 22

Featuring: Drone Spraying; Xate; Cheesemaking In Cayo & The History Of Running W Meats.

Opportunities and Global Perspective of Cacao for Belize Cacao Field Day and Forum

in Issue 22 by

The market for chocolate couldn’t be better. There is a worldwide deficit of 60,000 metric tons. Just at the time that production is decreasing in the two main exporter countries of Ghana and Brazil the demand is increasing by 3% per year, creating a wonderful market opportunity for Belize. This was the theme of the forum held in Toledo on June 12, 2013. The forum developed from an idea that the U.S. Ambassador, H.E. Vinai Thummalapally, had when he visited Toledo cacao producers in February. Having heard about Belize’s excellent chocolate quality in places he’s visited and seeing the potential for the chocolate produced in Toledo he contacted Mr. Jose Alpuche, CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture…

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Good Pesticide Management Practices Execution Progress and Future Work

in Issue 22 by

  Background The Good Pesticides Management Practices – Farmer RecognitionInitiative (GPMP- FRI) commenced in November 2012 and is an interagency collaborative initiative undertaken to promote and recognize good pesticide management practices among volunteer farmers by bringing into focus the potential sources of agrochemical contamination for horticultural products from the field to consumers. The initiative is expected to improve the competitiveness of participating local farmers through a scheme that will award public recognition to those in compliance with the GPMP-FRI’s requirements. Farmers’ compliance is monitored and recorded by way of a toolkit which was developed based on Global G.A.P. criteria. In addition to farm inspection and field sampling activities, the initiative also has a farmer assistance component whereby volunteer farmers are…

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To The Editor

in Issue 22 by

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. Good Morning Beth, I just wanted to say that I read every Belize paper every day and the Ag Report is the best of them all. Real stuff. Stuff that can help the country and our neighborhoods. NO POLITICS. Its manna from heaven. Thanks again. Marty Casado BelizeNews.com Bill Lindo responds to Vernon’s Response Issue 21 page 5 Dear Harry Vernon, I refer to your letter to the editor in issue # 21 in The Belize Ag Report on my subject…

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What Has Professor Philip S. Callahan Done for Agriculture?

in Issue 22 by

In issue # 21 of The Belize Ag Report I wrote that Prof Philip S. Callahan is the greatest scientist of the late twentieth century. Who is this 90 year old scientist and teacher? Prof. Callahan has written over 18 books and published over 180 technical papers in various journals. Agriculture practitioners should read and study his books: “Paramagnetism”, “Ancient Mysteries, Modern Visions”, and “The Soul of the Ghost Moth”. He got his Ph.D. at Kansas State in entomology (study of insects). He wrote that his assignment under Prof. Reginald Painter was “to find out why plants that grew on poor soil produced far more corn earworm moth eggs than those that grew on dark, well-aerated, bottomland soil”. In other…

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Beyond the backyard – Tally Me Bananas

in Issue 22 by

Driving into my property the other day I was horrified to see how neglected my banana plants looked: overcrowded, with leaves dead and perhaps even diseased. Earlier on I had passed a newly erected sign just before Riversdale advertising Bunches of Fun Banana Tours 624 4297. Now there is a good idea. So I made an advance booking for a dozen ladies who were somewhat skeptical when I asked if they would like to accompany me. Our guide, Evin, was lively, charming and eager to tell us about the farm and the importance of the banana industry here in southern Belize. We were off to a great start with an informative video outlining banana history. Sagitun Farm is one of…

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Xate Survival Story

in Issue 22 by

What is Xate? Xate (pronounced SHA-tay or sha-the) are ornamental palm plants. Xate are three of the eleven palms that are part of the Chamaedorea species. Chamaedorea ernesti-augustii is the most familiar of the three. It is typically known by its common name, fishtail, cola de pescado, pata de vaca or rabbit ears. Chamaedorea oblongata common name is Jade, Xate macho or oblongata. Chamaedorea elegans common name is Elegans, Xate hembra or parlour palm. Xate palm leaves are green and smooth. Plants can grow to be seven feet tall, but generally fall over when they reach the height of an average man. Chamaedora palms grow from Mexico and Central America to Bolivia and Brazil. Xate varieties are most commonly found…

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Apple Trees of Belize Featuring the Mammee Apple

in Issue 22 by

Mammee apples are not botanically apples, but have a similarity to apples and are recognized and known as apples in Belize and the other tropical countries where they are grown and enjoyed. Mammee apple, Mammea americana,also known as mammey apple, mamey apple, coco apple, Saint Domingo apricot, mamey amarillo, South American apricot, abrico and several other names native to the tropical country of origin, produce fruits, which, despite their resemblance to apples, are botanically considered to be berries. Mammee fruits are grown from an attractive evergreen tree of the Garcinia family (Clusiaceae)which resembles a magnolia tree. Mammee apples are commonly confused with Mamey Sapote (Pouteria sapota)of the Sapotaceaefamily but are unrelated. Mammee apples are a tropical fruit related to the…

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30 Years of Growth and Firsts For Cayo’s Running W Meats

in Issue 22 by

Worldwide it is not uncommon for people to consider an imported item more valuable than a locally produced product. In Belize this has often seemed especially true. For a small and less developed country (LDC), as Caricom classifies us, we are accustomed to much importation. However, as one of only 2 Caricom net exporters of food, the game is changing; Belize is gaining a reputation not only in the numbers for exported food and commodities but also in the high quality of our products, especially in the agriculture/food arena. Running W’s manager, Abdala Bedran, was chosen as one of the main speakers at the 2012 International Brahman Congress, held in Panama, in recognition of not only their excellent products but…

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FACING THE GIANT: AVIAN INFLUENZA IN MEXICO

in Issue 22 by

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) 2012 and 2013 outbreaks in Mexico have always been worrisome to Belize but now, almost a year later, with the disease now in five Mexican states Belize faces a formidable giant. The outbreak first started in Jalisco in June 2012 and, by November, Mexican authorities considered it eradicated. However, there was a loss of some 22 million birds due to the disease or control measures and some 166 million doses of vaccine were applied. But it re-surfaced at the start of 2013 with a vengeance spreading to nearby states and resulted in 12 states vaccinating against HPAI, 9 of these states being unaffected states. This giant with the outbreak now being reported in Puebla,…

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BEL-CAR Updates

in Issue 22 by

These are Bel-Car’s main products, by percentage (dollars, not volume) with note of direction from previous year. BLACK EYE PEAS: down, approx. 10% RK BEANS: level, 25% CORN: up, 64% SORGHUM: slowly up, less than 1% BLACK EYE PEAS: Production this past year is still low, and is expected to remain low again next year, due to prices returning to $0.65-0.70/lb, down from the unrealistic $1.00 to 1.10 of last year. Bel-Car management travels extensively, analyzing global factors, increasing their marketing success. Trips to the Middle East increased understanding of the short but premium market for black eyes for the Ramadan holidays. Europe has also purchased some Bel-Car black eyes this season and discussions are under way with southern US…

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