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  • Speaker Of The House Signs MOU With FOPREL And SICA

    Friday, 07 September 2018 02:44
  • New International Flight Headed To Belize

    Friday, 07 September 2018 02:46
  • 224 Farmers Graduate From Farmers Field School

    Friday, 07 September 2018 03:09

Screen_Shot_2015-09-08_at_7.58.10_PMYesterday we told you how global warming has been affecting farmers in the Indian Creek area in the Orange Walk District in the form of a severe drought that has caused hundreds of acres of corn and soy beans to perish. But farmers are not giving up just yet as they are trying to alleviate the problem by installing a fully functional supplementary irrigation system. John Dyck is one of the farmers who decided to install the irrigation system after losing all his crop in 2012.

John Dyck – Farmer

“In 2012 we had a dry year just like we had this year and I lost everything that I had planted and then I say there is only one way to go further this way to put up the irrigation, this is a new system that you see behind me that was put up by the end of December we did some bean with that and so I had good results with that already and as you can see the corn where it gets irrigated we having better results but the cost of irrigation due to no rain that we are getting is getting very high in that one, the cost of the system is about three hundred thousand dollars.”



“How much water is pumped out per minute?”

John Dyck – Farmer

“Right now is pumping about sixteen hundred gallons per minute but they have different irrigations here that does less but they have to keep running it a lot longer than that so if you put it out there it could run for a shorter time but putting more water than running it less time.”

It is hard to put a figure on how much Dyck spends to keep the irrigation system functioning. But so far it has worked out for him and many other farmers are following his footsteps.

John Dyck – Farmer

“It is going to be hard to balance out, because I’ve lost the fifty five acres and with this we have to compensate with that but at least I didn’t lose everything that I had invested and I think it still make sense I think the only way of doing the crops in the future is to put up more irrigations and we see more farms, we’ve been driving around we have seen them so it makes sense to put irrigation because those that don’t have the irrigation they will go empty handed and they will get anything from their farm.”

John Knelsen, is a farmer who is in the process of installing his own irrigation system. And while that will alleviate the drought problem, more assistance is needed he says and government needs to do its part.

John Knelsen - Farmer

“Tenemos una parte prestado en el banco para hacer este siembro aquí y como se mira ahorita de ese siembro no va a regresar nada para pagarlo, ya estamos con bolsas vacíos y tenemos que ver cómo hacemos por eso estamos a ver que el gobierno tal vez haga algo y pensamos que el gobierno tal vez tiene una manera para ayudarnos, no sabemos exacto como o en qué pero una manera puede estar bueno que ellos abran una puerta para hacer prestamos con interés bajo y seguimos de nuevo porque no le decimos al gobierno a que nos lo regale todo que perdimos no pero que abran una puerta.”

Area Representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Abelardo Mai, is deeply concerned about the situation the farmers find themselves in. But he is not only preoccupied about famers of the north as the severe drought will affect farmers across the country.

Honorable Jose Mai – Area Representative Orange Walk South

“First of all, the main producing grain areas in the north, Orange Walk South constituency of course, I have to be very concern on what is going on.  Secondly while it is grown in the constituency the economic impact is nationwide so it is very important that we pay very much attention to the situation as it is, the farmers are undergoing very serious problems and of course they will suffer losses in the millions of dollars but besides the farmers losing the economic effects are national; the cost of food, the cost of poultry, the cost of  pork meat, the cost of corn tortillas of course for our famous tacos will be affected by this drought situation, from what I have seen there is a certain portion of corn under the irrigation systems that you may have seen  but this is only the minimal part of the production so the vast majority is rain fed and that is what is being affected so we are saying that we may have up to 95% in loses in corn.”


“How much does this represent for the production on the country?”

Honorable Jose Mai – Area Representative Orange Walk South

“I think if I am not mistaken, I believe that estimates could be probably more than fifteen million dollars I am just saying from rough calculations including Little Belize and they alone they have like fourteen thousand acres and they have like 80% loses, in my constituency at least four to seven millions dollars and that is preliminary just looking at the figures but I believe the ministry of agriculture will do their due diligence they should and they will come up with a more accurate figure but from what we are seeing right now I think between six and ten million dollars.”


“How about Soy and Rice?”

Honorable Jose Mai – Area Representative Orange Walk South

“Soy bean I think it was about two thousand acres of soy bean has been affected you may have seen some under irrigation but the majority again is just rain fed and the height of those plant should be at least three feet and there is no moisture on the ground so there will be no pod filling so what you are seeing is the green leave still green but there is no pod formation so the pod will not be filled completely as a matter of fact there are plants with pods just about half inch and nothing will be harvested from that so you could say that 90% will be lost too on soy bean in the last five years they have had three failure so I don’t think there is much they can have that they can wish for I think their livelihoods are gone entirely and their credibility as creditors  status they cannot go back to the Credit Union or the DFC and say I’ve lost my crop for the two years and now you want an additional loan your credit rating goes down so that is a very difficult situation so I think that the loses to the farmers are tremendous and I think that as a country the government has to put policies in place so as to try  to mitigate the effects of these climate disasters.”

Farmers remain vigilant for the Department of Agriculture to intercede and come up with ideas or a strategy that would assist not only them but also farmers across the board.

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