Over thirty young Belizean farmers are now better equipped to grow their crops any time of the year. The Government of Belize handed over greenhouses to farmers in the northern districts. This project is aimed at targeting women and youth in rural communities to increase the production of crops and decrease the quantity of vegetables the country imports yearly. The Minister of Agriculture, Jose Mai, says this will be beneficial for the long-term sustainability of the country and the building of the economy.
Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture: “This will allow us to produce for longer periods. It extends the cycle of vegetable production using less insecticides, less pesticides. SO at the same time it will be helping us to meet the demands of the growing tourism market. You know that today tourism in Belize has rebounded. The demand for good and wholesome healthy foods is high. I was telling Ms. Moh that we need to look at producing the sweet peppers known in other parts as bell peppers. There’s the green, the red, the yellow, the orange, which the tourism market demands and those are the high price because this is a very expensive structure so we have to look at the high price markets. So all this will contribute to improving the livelihoods of our Belizean farmers.”
Julia Moh is one of the beneficiaries who recently received her greenhouse. She expressed her excitement as she will now be able to plant and harvest crops year-round. Moh says that she has faced challenges, especially with the recent rains that flooded her lands.
Julia Moh, Belizean Farmer: “We have planted a lot of sweet peppers but because of the disease we didn’t continue but now because of this, I plan to begin planting sweet peppers again. Well the rain, it killed the plants because they would get filled with water, the corn too. I used to plant a lot of corn and sometimes the water would get too high and kill my plants. I make a lot of things with corn. I use it to make tamalitos and atole.”
This project was developed under the Caricom Development Fund and Mai says it is in keeping with GOB’s plan Belize manifesto.