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May 5, 2017

The Sights and Sounds of Agric 2017

The National Agricultural and Trade Show, better known as Agric, got off over the weekend. The annual event provides a space for the productive sector to meet with its customers and potential buyers of the various items that were on display. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from Belmopan.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The sweltering heat over the extended weekend did not deter Belizeans, from all over the country, from making their way to the Capital City of Belmopan where the 2017 National Agricultural and Trade Show got off. According to the NATS Committee over thirty-seven thousand persons attended the show grounds this year around, which represents an eight point two-eight percent increase over last year’s figures. The ‘Agric,’ which showcases businesses as well as the products of domestic farming and production, has over the years truly become a family oriented event and there was no shortage of food and drinks as well as entertainment. Cavetubing.bz came out in full force, providing attendees with an experience of a lifetime. Ziplining above, adults and children alike were strapped up for safety and zipped across the lines just below the canopy. Over at the family fun zone adventure, paintball shooting was also a hit. Before you start the game, you’re dressed in full body and face protection to avoid anyone getting hurt.

 

Misty Vasquez

Misty Vasquez, Coordinator

“This is an introduction of what we are doing in Camalote. We have the bigger family fun zone in Camalote that we do on a daily basis. So we just bring it out here to introduce it to the people of Belize City. So it is all about the paintball and it is about family and fun.”

 

There was a wide variety of agricultural produce represented from the length and breadth of the country; some larger than ever. The theme for the Central Farm Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture was “Transferring Information and Technologies,” to showcase the industry as an income generation activity to all farmers.  For the second time in a row, the booth showcased the largest pumpkin and watermelon.

 

Mario Howe

Mario Howe, Extension Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Farm

“We have a large variety of fruits and vegetables that we have on display of the hard work of our farmers.”

 

Duane Moody

“These are some of the biggest fruits and vegetables that we have seen ever. Talk to us about that.”

 

Mario Howe

“As you could see, pumpkin is one of the main attractions for the show now and pumpkin has been one of the crops that we have seen that one of our farmers that try to keep the show very active where people look into it. So these are improved varieties compared to the local ones.”

 

Honey production is an intricate business: hives are harnessed, the sugary sap extracted and then used to create wax and one hundred percent honey. For about eight years now, Iliana Ayuso and her family in Orange Walk have been harvesting the honey cones filled to capacity by the African bees before bottling the honey to meet the demands of customers.

 

Iliana Ayuso, Owner, Rainforest Honey

“I like the bees and it is something for the environment also which we need a lot. And the honey is very good; nutritious, very health and so that’s how I get into it. At the moment we just have honey. The bees provide for many other products but at the moment here in Belize we do not have the experience, the knowledge to go ahead with it so we just promote the honey.”

 

Duane Moody

“How can people get your product? Is it in the market? On shelves in supermarkets?”

 

Iliana Ayuso

Iliana Ayuso

“Well I come from Orange Walk so I sell my honey to People’s Store. The honey has a big demand, and I only sell to them. But we are planning to further our product so we might come further.”

 

The two-day event occurred without major incident. Duane Moody for News Five.

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