Monday, December 8, 2008
WINTER CROP OF LETTUCE ENDANGERED BY LACK OF SEEDS
The last three years of experiments, by the Belize Development Trust ( internet based NGO of volunteers ) for different lettuce types, resulted in TROPICAL EMPEROR lettuce coming out as the TOP year round lettuce for Belizean conditions. This was a leaf lettuce type, that only really had trouble in July and August. The winter crop should have been planted late September, but there has been a shortage of seeds.
The PROSSER AGRO PRO store in San Ignacio, part of the twin towns, reports they sold about three quarters of a million seeds in containers of 25,000 seeds for $61 Bz. Taiwan Vegetable Mission and the Food and Agriculture Organization bought up most of the available seeds to distribute to farmers damaged by the floods last October, this year. The DEMAND for seeds for the lettuce crop annually is about two million lettuce. This has developed as an import substitution successful drive, led by the Agriculture Department at Central Farm. The Agro Pro manager here, out in Western Belize Agro Pro PROSSER store said that a new shipment is now at the border and being processed and will eventually wind it's way up from border to the coast headquarters of Prosser and eventually to him here out Western Belize. We await anxiously as our winter season is half way through already. A check of the local TWIN TOWNS Macal River market shows NO LETTUCE on sale anywhere. Nor was there any habenero peppers when we looked and asked. Tomatos at this time of the year become scarce and are currently selling for $4.50 a pound for the last month.