Belize's most complete agricultural publication.

Issue 33

Blue Moon Over Big Falls

Chocolate lovers congregated for the gala event of the 10th Annual Cacao Festival, now being called the Chocolate Festival, on May 20, not quite the full flower moon evening (full moon was actually Saturday) but close enough to add magic to the magnificent setting around the pool and lush tropical gardens at Big Falls Lodge, Toledo. This year the exhibitors offering samples of their products and very informative discussion regarding their procedures and mission were: Xoco, an event sponsor who focuses on supplying high end quality cacao beans to chocolatiers worldwide and now farming in Belize. Cotton Tree, who makes chocolate exclusively from beans from the Toledo District. Each batch of chocolate is created from the beans of a single… Keep Reading

Featured/Issue 33

The Majestic Mango

Stately, massive mango trees are the glory of a tropical farm. No other fruit is anticipated with such eagerness; no other fruit tree is so abundant to the point of overwhelming when they bear well. The varieties are as different as apple varieties and each one may have its own loyal devotee. Grafted mango trees begin to bear from 2 to 3 years from planting and continue for many, many years. As I write, the view through one of the windows of our house is fully dominated by the foliage of a mango tree about 20 yards away; it may be 40 years old and is bearing again this year. It used to bear only a type of mango known… Keep Reading

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

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