Reliable energy is critical to all world governments and available renewable energy production has become a focus of industry worldwide. Belize purchases about 46% of the country’s power from Mexico at a cost of $137 million USD per year, 38% from Belize Electric Company Ltd., 2% from Hydro Maya, and 10% from Belize Aquaculture Ltd. Belize Electric Company Ltd., and Hydro Maya produce power from dams that supply hydro power generation.
Since the re-classification of industrial hemp in November 2017, several people have asked us for more information about it. Larger Belizean farmers ask, ‘Is this a good economic opportunity?” Others wonder how to differentiate this fibrous industrial plant from the more well-known marijuana (aka ganja). Both are in the genus Cannabis; page 32 of this issue is an article by Karin Westdyk that might help clarify things for you.
The latest export figures for 2017 highlight the significance of the sugar industry to the country; 35% ($157.8 Million) of the total national export revenues of $445.6 Million is derived from the exports of sugar (and molasses). The figure in 2016 was only $110 Million, reflecting a substantial 43% increase. With the addition of Santander entering the production phase, the volume of sugarcane production and processing has significantly pushed national output levels. Cumulatively in 2016, the national sugarcane deliveries rose by 24.6% to 1,455,053 long tons, of which the North and Santander accounted for 1,292,515 long tons and 162,538 long tons, respectively.
Agriculture production statistics chart for the Spanish Lookout Community 2017.
By Jenny Wildman — Driving from north to south one can find tall droopy berry trees following the paths of our inhabitants. Considering that the berry tree grows so profusely it is surprising that there is very little information on its taxonomy and uses. In fact, even its name is in question as there are plants of similarity and several varieties within that species. Perhaps we can pull them out of the woodwork and take a closer look.
Dr. Christine Jones Explains the Life-Giving Link Between Carbon and Healthy Topsoil.
To the pressing worldwide challenge of restoring soil carbon and rebuilding topsoil, the Australian soil ecologist Dr. Christine Jones offers an accessible, revolutionary perspective for improving landscape health and farm productivity.
For several decades Jones has helped innovative farmers and ranchers implement regenerative agricultural systems that provide remarkable benefits for biodiversity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, water management and productivity. After a highly respected career in public sector research and extension, in 2001 Jones received a Community Fellowship Award from Land and Water Australia for “mobilizing the community to better manage their land, water and vegetation.” Three years later she launched Amazing Carbon as a means to widely share her vision and inspire change.
Tables & Charts: Pesticide Import Totals, Top ten most imported pesticides, Total Kg of Active Ingredients – by Year, Total Kg of Active Ingredients – by Class
Rainfall reports for 2017 from various agricultural communities and sources, with charts and graphs brought together for us by Dottie Feucht.
Preparing new soil for planting can make significant differences in plant growth – some good and some bad – depending on several important, but too often overlooked, considerations. It may be dressed up in one way or another, but taken as a whole, those whose goal is only to sell fertilizer generally use some type of feed the plant program. Too many who offer advice about what fertilizers to use have never been taught to understand any other way!
Fertilizing coconut (Cocos nucifera L.) is not a common practice in Belize. However as a long term crop, coconuts in production can greatly deplete the nutrients around it which can lead to weakened plant health and reduced productivity. Ideally a soil analysis should be carried out before establishing the plantation so the recommended correction can be applied. Analysis should be repeated every other year to determine the soil nutrition status and implement corrections.