The Government had procured a 16 million Belize dollar loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development for financial assistance in the execution of the Resilient Rural Belize Project. The education measures, as well as development goals, are geared towards rural areas to fortify our farmers who need to implement measures to offset the effects of climate change. On Wednesday, the Senate passed the bill for the 8 million US loan motion. Minister of Agriculture and Senator Godwin Hulse explained some of the programs that are expected to be completed with the funds.
Honorable Godwin Hulse: “The aim of that is to expand rural agriculture and climate resilience and it’s really the small farmer, no big farmer, small farmer and it’s what we call end road. We will start to ensure they have good access to their farms, that’s part of it for under climate resilience we will help them with their covered structures. As you know the rainfall patterns are changing, floods are changing so we need to upgrade some of those roads. We need to help them with that irrigation and of course markets for their products. We already have marketing in Belmopan, we have in Corozal, we have one in the south, that is also a part of it so that they go the full gamut, all the way up and the end result will be some sort of processing but it is all farmer groups geared. There is an excellent example in Nargo Bank in the Mascall area there where the farmers have already pulled together, organized themselves well and they are producing vegetables which are going into San Pedro. San Pedro will be another market and so those produce are going through Bomba and that is part of that loan to try to lift that. There is a legislative committee worldwide that is looking at hunger and malnutrition and to eradicate that so this fits in well with the program so it’s that overall push to try to bring the small farmer to a decent place so that Belizeans start to eat healthy, have good vegetables, have fresh fruits etc.”