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Apr 25, 2019

Ana Morales is the Female Farmer of the Year

Ana Eloisa Morales

To meet the female farmer of the year, we went to Selena village, a small farming community located to the back of Spanish Lookout. There we met fifty-year-old mom and grand-mother Ana Eloisa Morales. She, with the support of her family, has cultivated fifteen acres of land. The remaining ten acres of her property remain untouched and a small portion is used to raise livestock. Reporter Andrea Polanco visited the farmer of the year on Wednesday to find out more about her farm. The winner says that she wants to inspire others, especially women, to show that they too can become farmers. Here’s the story.


Ana Eloisa Morales, Farmer of the Year [Translated]

“It is a bit more challenging for female farmers because a lot of people don’t think that as women we can work hard. There are only few people who believe in us women farmers that we can do this. So, I assure you that yes you can!”


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

And fifty-year-old Ana Morales is living proof that women are skilled farmers. While many still see farming as a man’s job – Morales is here to dispel that misconception. In 2008, this entire area was a jungle, but she was determined to change that.


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“We agreed to clear the bushes and then we started to plant corn, tomato, pepper, and just like that we successively cleaned and planted in the process. Animals would come in and eat the plantings. Hurricanes would come and knock down everything but that never stopped us from working. We continued day by day, working and growing and farming more.”


So, today Ana Morales is the proud owner of the Paradise Farm in Selena village in the Cayo district. She has spent over a decade working to make her dream a reality – and this year she’s been named the farmer of the year – something that perhaps her ten-year-old self never saw in her future but her dedication to her farm helped to win the title.


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“It was a dream and after that we made a plan. So, it’s this plan that has helped us to develop. We still have many more dreams to follow. So, it is not just to reach at this level of the competition but to work each day and that is how we are able to accomplish this.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, you have always wanted to be a farmer?”


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“All my life. It has been my biggest dream growing up as a child. I come from a family of farmers – my grandparents were ranchers and they enjoyed agriculture. And so from there, I think that is where it came – it is in my blood.”


And as any farmer will tell you, this farming is not easy. Morales says that she would love to do a lot more on her farm but the scarcity of water and  soil issues have hampered those plans. But these issues have not stopped this farmer – she still takes care of her home and works on her farm every day of the week week – with little to no days off.


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“I wake up at five-thirty in the morning and make my breakfast. I go out to the field – I drink a cup of coffee – and then I return around nine-thirty or ten in the morning to eat my breakfast and take a rest. So, I am at home for about an hour and then I go back on the farm and return until two in the afternoon. Later in the night I go back check on the plants and water them. We water them in the night so that the plants are healthy and we don’t waste too much water as well.”


Andrea Polanco

“Do you work every day of the week?”


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“Every day. There are no Saturdays or Sundays or holidays. That is how it is in farming and that is why I think a lot of people are scared to get into farming because it is a job where you don’t get to have days off.  That is the truth.”


Morales’ farm produces large quantities of coconuts; all kinds of fruit trees, including passion fruit, black berry, mangos and plums. Many of the fruits are transformed into sweets, jellies and other products. So, Morales wants others, especially women, to use her story as an example.


Ana Eloisa Morales [Translated]

“A farm is a beautiful thing but many people don’t see the beauty, they only see the work it takes. But on the other hand, I don’t. I see the beauty. I see how beautiful it is to work in the fields.” My advice is that whatever piece of land we have, we should plant on it. We should plant healthy, strong plants that can produce and we can harvest. I enjoy planting all kinds of things, especially flowers. My message to women is to plant.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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