Friday, December 11, 2009

BELIZE AGRO PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY MISSION FROM TAIWAN TO BELIZE

*** The Taiwanese most famous project in Belize is their CHINESE VARIETIES OF VEGETABLES they experiment with. Good project and they now have a worm farm demonstration for making worm fertilizer from compost, to overcome the clay in the local Cayo District soils.
** Taiwanese Mission test products in Belize


TAIWANESE AGRICULTURE AID MISSION TO BELIZE


AGRO FOOD PROCESSING PROJECT OF THE TAIWANESE MISSION

In 2009, the Taiwanese President visited Belize and reported that the Economic World Crisis had effected Taiwan as well. He was not going to quit aiding Belize, but money would not be available for expanding any new projects in Belize.
That said, the existing Chinese Taiwanese Mission here is trying to get some assistance from International organizations, such as; UNDP and BRDP to upgrade the food processing technology. What they have in a demo warehouse facility is not very impressive. Two or three small food processing machines, but nothing that one could really use, or visualize as a starter food processing project. Our own Agriculture Research Station technical personnel don't know enough about the subject and lack their own budgets to find the time to figure out what processing food is all about anyway.
It has been pretty much a TEACH YOURSELF PROPOSITION with using the internet to figure things out for individuals in our private sector. The Chinese mean well, indeed they have a successful dehydrated fruit project were they package in plastic bags, reject fruits from the export processing factories. This has been successful in a school feeding program for dry fruit snacks. They have prepared over 300,000 dehydrated fruit packages of 60 grams and distributed them regularly to over 5000 needy school children. This assistance is nothing to sneeze at. It sure beats anything the USA, or the United Kingdom, or the European Union have done for practical results. The private sector though, figure the cost of electricity makes the dehydrator impractical from a money making commercial sense. Don't know if that is true or not, nobody in the private sector has bothered to try a pilot project to find out costs and the Chinese haven't itemized production costs, to let us know what a finished product costs in man hours, wages and utilities. Buying the machinery is the easy part. Running it profitably is a different story.
They are talking now about preparing a community college practical course for the ITVET students in agro food processing. This is a pay as you go, pick your own subject type College system we have in Belize. Kind of small and mostly they get customer students to pay for auto mechanics, air conditioning, refrigeration, electrician stuff, specialized technical knowledge courses. It is a good idea though.
With the new cement boat going back every second week to Jamaica empty. This does open a lot of possibilities to ship food to Jamaica. Jamaica is a big market, though known as HARD PAY. We do get preferential tariffs as well being a part of CARICOM. About a 5 day transportation handling deal. Nobody is shipping sausages to Jamaica for instance. Nor special products like hot pepperoni smoked sausages and beef jerky, for example. Can we plastic wrap in lard, salty bacon, that we used to one time import from the Netherlands? We should be able to compete with these European countries on a lot of products these days. Making herbal tea bags is another product we could ship out of Belize. Plastic containers and packaging has changed the dynamics of the previous colonial, tin and canned products that the Europeans specialized in.
The TAIWANESE MISSION STATEMENT says they are going into developing processed food products with market potential. We sure could use it and appreciate such assistance. That is certainly the NEXT STAGE in our development here as our skills and population expands. My own talk with the Chinese technicians was not so enamored of their abilities to turn dreams into reality. They came across as the usual bureaucrats, skilled in talking, but we will wait and see if they can walk the walk, as good as they talk. Admittedly the cash shortage from TAIWAN is going to cramp their style and capabilities, lets see what happens over the next two years? I certainly wish them the best! Belize needs it! Practical stuff that makes money and well thought out as to HOW TO DO IT on a low budget operation. Everybody in Belize has to start cottage industry scale size. We will grow slowly over ten years or so.

1 comment:

Trinidad Shipping said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
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