Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ONION CROP FOR DOMESTIC BELIZE MARKET BETTER ORGANIZED THIS YEAR 2012

This year the ONION FARMERS, organized themselves better.  Last year they overproduced and badly got hurt financially. Onion farming is a new thing in Belize. They farm onions with black plastic irrigation lines down the rows, using a pump, to pump water from the Northern districts acquifer.  It's shallow about 35 feet.  There is no limit to their capability for production in the practical sense.  Irrigated farming is something new, and with a small population it is easy to over produce for the domestic market. Talks between the onion producers and the agriculture department, resulted this year in the producers assigning themselves a quota to produce onions.  They were also shown how to built storage bins for onions, to preserve them from rotting.  Thus enabling them to space out their sales on the domestic market over a six months period.  They can grow two or three crops a year in onions.  They have the water and soil, just need the sunshine.
  Production of onions should and could lead to an export market.  One thinks of Guatemala and Salvador.  The onion growers haven't got that far along in experience with this import substitution crop yet.  It is believed Mexicans can produce onions that are bigger, at higher elevations and ship them to Belize cheaper than we can grow them here.  But growing onions here, makes us self sufficient in food.  Also saves foreign exchange.

  The leeks,a small bulb onion, could be pickled in plastic food jars, similar to peanut butter imported jars and exported by the container load.  I've grown them successfully in my hydroponics nursery.  They grow easily.  The green tops could be fed to  rabbit farm, as rabbits produce meat faster than chickens and we could export rabbit meat.  What is lacking is the agro-processing technical knowledge, markets and the abillity to produce the containers here locally.


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