Screen_Shot_2016-02-18_at_8.02.28_PMOver the past months the Food and Drug organization along with the European Union have been delivering significant assistance to farmers of northern Belize, in view of the country’s commitment to achieving food security and rural development.


These organizations are responsible for the Launching of the Value Chain approach in midst October last year, whereby all producers, input suppliers, processors and consumers are involved from producing, selling and eating, in layman terms “from the farm to the fork”.


The Value Chain approach looks carefully at everyone involved in order to pinpoint challenges that can lead to reduction of efficiency or profits in the areas of Onion, Honey and Sheep production. Earlier this month onion farmers from Corozal met with farmers from San Carlos and yesterday the first meeting among 19 sheep farmers took place at the agriculture department in Corozal.


Gabino Canto Project manager FAO


“This is the first meeting that we are having with the sheep farmers in Corozal district we are trying to get all of them together to find out exactly what are the problems that they are encountering and how many sheep we have in Corozal and who are these people producing sheep so that we can set up a program to help them as much as possible under this FAO project.”


Reporter


“What was the reaction of the farmers?”


Gabino Canto Project manager FAO


“As typical farmers they have a lot of things to say, they are disagreements within them but at the end they manage to come together and form an unofficial group which is the initial step to forming a cooperative which is very good and that is what we are looking for so that by working together they can get a lot of benefits.  The FAO project is looking forward to helping them in the establishment of pastures, in the renovation of existing pastures and also by helping them in their breeding stock and training.”


According to District Agriculture Officer, Barry Palacio, the aim is to organize farmers so when there is an excess of product there will be no conflict.


Barry Palacio District agricultural officer


“I want to stress the importance of organizing farmers, too often we see where in the case of agricultural commodities where there is at times a surplus of product and at times where there is a deficit of products, when the time of surplus we know that prices will go down thereby decreasing our allowing for a very small margin of profit and at times even loses to the farmers so that had they known or had they planned they would have been able to either reduce the size of their operation or rotate in such a way that there is not that conflict with other growers in the same time frame for the same commodity, it requires for planning and organization and for people to be discussing with each other and knowing what each other is doing, a lot of this problem is basically a lack of information and this is where the agriculture department is making it effort in trying to bridge the gap and organizing the farmers.”


Sheep farmers who were unable to attend the first meeting are asked to make all efforts to assist the next meeting.

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