Saturday, February 11, 2012

Belize working on producing own rice seed. 2012

Malcom Castillo of the Ministery of Agriculture.

Rice Seeds In the South

We've heard a lot about rice travails in the last few months. Mennonite farmers in the north can't sell their rice because the market is saturated and farmers in the south - weren't getting paid their subsidized price for rice. Somewhere in the middle of all this is the Taiwanese technical mission working in southern Belize to modernize and mechanize farming operations.

Their latest project is about seed security - developing seeds for rice crops. The Agricultural Officer told us all about the value of commercial rice-seed production.

Malcolm Castillo, Ministry of Agriculture/Fisheries
"One of the projects under the grains program for the department for the district is commercial rice seed production which is to supply rice seeds to the rice farmers of the Toledo District. Currently we have about 60 mechanize farmers because this project is mostly for the mechanize rice farmers in the Toledo District."

"We are currently working along with the ROC Taiwan Technical Mission where for this project we have Mr. Frank Len who is the rice specialist. We work under him and through his guidance to gain experience on being able to produce rice seeds using the flood irrigated Taiwanese system."

"When they (farmers) adapt this technology then they will in turn start to produce seeds and generate revenue where they can then become sustainable. It will tie in with the overall industry so that the overall industry becomes sustainable and viable."

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