Belize's most complete agricultural publication.

Issue 33

Fertility From The Deep – Nature’s Perfect Nutrient Blend for the Farm – Written By Charles Walters

The hypothesis that the diversity and abundance of chemical elements contained in ocean water could provide “nature’s perfect nutrient blend for the farm” was tested within the context of innovative farming methods proposed and implemented by Dr. Maynard Murray in the mid-20th century. In his book, Mr. Walters describes the inspirational, scientific and practical evolution and implementation of Dr. Murray’s ideas and the experiments he conducted to revolutionize modern agriculture in terms of providing healthier food for an increasingly unhealthy human population. Dr. Murray had taken his medical training at the University of Cincinnati and spent a decade testing the art and science of his profession. While working many years in Boston hospitals, Dr. Murray became increasingly appalled by the… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Breakfast is Served! You Name The Dish.

What would you call a dish of green banana flour, seaweed, powdered milk, sugar and peanuts with water added and cooked for 15 minutes? That nutritious combination is being developed into a product at the Central Farm food processing test kitchen for the school feeding program. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) project, headed by Anna Howe, was started in July 2015 with the help and direction of a food specialist to find the combination of ingredients to (1) use local ingredients (2) make a tasty, nutritious breakfast food for the school feeding program at minimum cost, and (3) explore the marketability of such a product. Anna and her crew of 5 are testing… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Rainy Season War

The rains have fallen, the flowers and plants are blooming and the mosquitos are buzzing. That high pitched sound there little wings make in the night time is more than annoying, mosquitos are Vectors of Malaria, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya, and now a new player….Zika! Most of the above mentioned are transmitted by the same villain, Aedes aegypti, which is distributed worldwide, except in the coldest of places. Female mosquitos require blood meal for the protein required by her developing egg brood. Dusk and dawn are active feeding times for mosquitos, and we all know the wet season bed time ritual mentioned above ……..hearing, but not knowing where the attack will eventually come. Vector transmission takes time, as the virus must… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Ag Events

The University of Belize College of Agriculture at Central Farm (UBCF) will host prominent soil fertility expert Neal Kinsey for the 3rd time in Belize, on February 27th –March 1st 2017 (the 2016 course was held earlier in Feb 2016). The upcoming course will be a new course to Belize; the 3 day Intro 2 course begins with a day and a half of trace minerals. Workbooks for the new course are available now for paid registrants of the next year’s Intro 2 course. All are welcome to attend this course – students, teachers, private sector. Contact David Thiessen at 670-4817 or thiessenliquid@ gmail.com . Neal reports that this is “the favorite course” of farmers. Mark your calendars for Sustainable… Keep Reading

Issue 33

NATS/Agric Show 2016

The National Agriculture Trade Show (NATS) name has morphed into Agric Show. The 2016 Agric Show, held on the fairgrounds in Belmopan from April 29 – May 1, drew 39,500 visitors. The 50 acre plus fairgrounds have been updated each year with a vision to eventually use the NATS fairground for a year-round Saturday marketplace with new barns, a permanent horticulture garden and tilipia farm as a training ground for future farmers in Belize with the support of Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega. Mr. Vega is dedicated to helping small farms succeed with the goal of helping Belize reduce its dependence on imports and become more secure in food production and distribution. Some highlights of the 2016 Agric Show included… Keep Reading

Issue 32

Deforestation in Belize: Why Does the Agriculture Sector Need Standing Forests?

Belize has lost more than 770,000 acres of forest since 1980, which is almost equivalent to the area of the entire Belize District. According to a report published by CATHALAC (Spanish acronym for Humid Tropics Water Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama), between 1980 and 2010 approximately 25,000 acres (more than 7 times the area of Belize City) of forests were cleared every year in Belize. According to another study produced by Belizean expert Emil Cherrington, in 2013, 33,000 acres of forest were lost in the Jewel, and in 2014 that number rose to 36,000 acres, which shows an increase in the deforestation rate. That trend has continued during the last 2years. CATHALAC and University of… Keep Reading

Issue 32

To the Editor

Dear Editor, We felt to express our deep appreciation that Belize has not been accepting genetically modified (GMO) crops into the country. We understand that through modern biotechnology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being created that may use animal, virus, or bacteria genes to alter DNA or genetic material in vegetables and other things. These alterations are impossible to achieve from natural pollination or crop breeding, and must be produced in sophisticated genetic laboratories. The resulting “organisms” are then patentable property of the large corporations creating them. Someone has coined a thought provoking an alternative term for GMO: “God move over”. In other words, do humans consider themselves wiser than our all-wise omnipotent Creator? Are human beings better able and… Keep Reading

Issue 32

Green Banana Recipe Competition

Green Banana Recipe Winners! In our February Belize Ag Report (issue #31), writer Harold Vernon challenged readers to enter original recipes using green bananas in a contest. Harold’s plea for Belizeans to eat this very neglected, nutritious, tasty and cheap starch source stimulated some excellent recipe entries. Below find the winning recipes. More recipes are included in our online version. The contest winners for the most original and best tasting recipes are Miss Paige Dietrich of Unitedville, Cayo District, and Mrs. Deborah Harder of Upper Barton Creek, Cayo District, Youth and Adult categories, respectively. Each receives a $50.00 prize. Thank you, Sally Thackery, Belize Ag Test Kitchen Supervisor and kudos to Harold Vernon for your instigation and prize donation. Thank… Keep Reading

Issue 32

Restoration of the San Ignacio Town Clock

Working on various community projects focused on refurbishing the San Ignacio Police Station in 2014, I became curious as to why the San Ignacio Town Clock wasn’t working. I recalled that when I emigrated to San Ignacio in 1982 that it did work. I began to ask citizens why the clock wasn’t working. Many said they didn’t know or cited its age as the probable cause. Unsatisfied and more curious than ever, I finally got some information from “Jr” Simmons, owner of the venerable Hy-Et Hotel, on the corner of West Street and Bullet Tree Road. He said that the clock and four or five others just like it were gifts from Great Britain to the soldiers of British Honduras,… Keep Reading

Issue 32

Update on the Sugar Industry Management Information System (SIMIS)

In March 2016 a total of 74,258.87 acres of sugar cane fields under production have been verified in the northern sugar belt of Belize. From data collected it has been analyzed that cane variety B79474 remains the most dominant variety accounting for 60% of total area under production. This is followed by B52298 representing 17% and Belize Barbados Varieties (9 BBZ varieties) account for 4% of total area verified. All other varieties are reported as small quantities and available in more detail on the SIMIS database and represented on pie chart. Another valuable item of information collected was the spatial distribution of sugar cane fields regarding the actual size of each parcel. Data shows that small parcels between 0.1 to… Keep Reading

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