Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Issue 05

Rice Purification In Belize

Rice is the second most important cereal grain for majority of the world’s population and is cultivated primarily in the tropics and subtropics. It is also hypoallergenic and versatile because of the relatively mild flavor. As the world population increases it creates a demand on basic foodstuffs such as rice. Since the rice stocks are being depleted faster than it can be replenished the cost of rice has been on a sharp incline since 2007 as dictates the command ofsupply and demand (FAO). The Government of Belize is armed with the purpose of increasing food security in Belize and is currently sustained in rice. A quality rice seed is the basis of productive rice plants which can not only satisfy… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Non-Chemical Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, such as malaria and dengue fever, are a serious concern in Belize. The wet season is particularly troublesome when mosquito breeding sites are far more abundant. When mosquito biting rates and incidents of diseases are high, spray trucks belch out plumes of malathion and other insecticides over the urban landscape. Sometimes this strategy may be effective, but many other insects, including mosquito predators and honey bees, are also killed by these chemicals. Besides that, people throughout towns and villages where spraying is conducted are exposed to pesticides and that can impose health consequences. However, there is an alternative first choice control strategy that involves targeting mosquito larvae and does not rely on chemicals. Non-chemical… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Ask Rubber Boots

Dear R.B., I have a helpful hint for your readers. A couple of months ago I received a really bad burn on my leg. I used man-made remedies to try to heal it, but it was taking a long time for it to heal. My friend told me to try unrefined honey, which I did. Once I started using the honey – it was incredible how fast it works. Just spreading over the wound every day you will see amazing results. Bigga Bullet Tree Falls Hi Bigga, Honey has many marvelous qualities besides its tantalizing taste. Bacteria cannot live in itshigh concentrated sugar, and, because it is hygroscopic, it draws liquid out of the wound (so the infection moves out… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Corn Production Considerations

Belize is a great place to grow corn. The temperatures are 80 degrees or higher every day and we get 80 to 90 inches of annual rainfall. Our acres are increasing and through better farming practices and more adaptable genetics, our yields are increasing. Most corn farmers feel that we can double our production to 2,000,000 bags in maybe 5 years if: We can export. We can find credit at some side of 8%. We get some tax break on fuels and other inputs. (Cane farmers get a fuel tax break- Why not us?) We have an abundance of black clays and minimum amounts of brown sandy loams. Farmers have to learn to like and deal with black clay soils,… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Beyond The Backyard – Culantro – A Garden Essential

Having a lime tree in the yard is very very necessary, especially if you like to make ceviche. Another ingredient you will need is cilantro unless you have the wondrous cilantro readily available. So many times when I mention this people say ” what is that !“ Those who do know may be under the impression it is the poor man’s cilantro . The appearance of the two plants is quite different but the aroma is similar ,a bit more pungent and can be used as a substitute. With the influx of ethnic groups introducing their native tastes CULANTRO is becomingwidely popular in North America and Europe. Even chefs of the Food Network have this included this in their recipes.… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Light Rein

Scenario: You are focusing intently on something, maybe enjoying something tasty, and then your spouse/friend pokes you in the ribs. Reactions: You may ignore them, react by moving over a little, or possibly overreact and jump sideways or get angry. But if you did not know what the poke was for, you may not react in the manner your spouse/friend was hoping for and maybe even make that person respond back in a poor manner as well. Now, if your spouse/friend poked your ribs EVERY time, in the same manner, when she did want you to move over, you would figure it out and eventually just do it without any hassle. It would just become a routine thing, and unless… Keep Reading

Issue 05

An Introduction To The Belize Agro-Productive Sector Group

The Belize Agro-productive Sector Group (BASGroup) commenced operation in October 2005 as a private sector non-profit entity with its central mandate of advocating the consensus interests of its members. It is however, a successor to a previous quasi-government entity called the Belize Commodities Secretariat which was established in January 2000. The Commodities Secretariat was housed within the Ministry responsible for the Citrus and Banana Industries at the time. These two industries and the Government of Belize each contributed equally to its budget. The Commodities Secretariat was established with an initial mandate to assist with the reform of the citrus and banana industries by facilitating stakeholder dialogue, trade negotiation and domestic policy formulation. The sugar industry, specifically Belize Sugar Industries (BSI),… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Oil Palms – Potential Problems and Opportunity

Oil palms are of the genus Elaeiswhich contains two species, one from Africa, E. Guieensis and one from the Americas, E. Oleifera. Both are very similar oi l-bearing palms, but the African variety, E. Guieensis, is widely cultivated around the world’s tropics as a commercial crop and ornamental. The E. Oleifera which is native to Central and South America can be used for oil production, but is not as popularly cultivated. Both species of oil palms are very attractive, they have a wide feathery canopy and a trunk that is thick with persistent leaf bases. The main differences are that the leaves of the American oil palm are arranged regularly, spreading on the same plane and while the young part… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Book Review – Guide To The Orchids Of Belize

Guide To The Orchids Of Belize is the new book produced in 2009 by Belize Botanic Gardens (BBG) in conjunction with the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland. The authors, Brendan Sayers and Brett Adams, have spent many years in the field collecting, and countless hours studying specimens. The convenient size of the book, specific data, and up-to-date information will quickly make it a must for the field and office. The book is dedicated toKen duPlooy, founder of BBG, whose passion for orchids laid the groundwork for the conservation of Belizean flora in contemporary times. To date, the BBG stands as a foremost source of botanical information and conservation education. A brief history of orchid collecting by both Gardens lets us… Keep Reading

Issue 05

Why We Need A Seed Bank

Plants provide us with food. What might happen if these plants disappeared? Think of a seed bank as a savings account. Seeds are “deposited” into the seed bank (a storage area) with the intention of “withdrawing” them in the future when they are needed. Just as you might keep money saved for a future need, we are saving up seeds to use for replanting not just for the next crop, but also in case certain crops die out or are destroyed in any given year. If farmers and gardeners do not have enough seeds to plant, we will have a shortage of food. Saving seeds in Belize is an important part of ensuring our Food Security as a nation. We… Keep Reading

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