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Jul 2, 2019

The Annual Agriculture Summer Camp is Underway

The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Police Department, is hosting its fourth annual Youth Engage in Agriculture Summer Camp. The two-week event kicked off on Monday at the National Agriculture and Trade Showground in Belmopan.  The interactive summer camp treats the Cayo and Belize District participants to educational and fun activities. Today, we spoke with camp coordinator Gary Ramirez, who says that while this camp keeps students engaged, it also introduces them to the agriculture industry which, in a few years, will be in need of new and young minds.

 

Gary Ramirez

Gary Ramirez, NATS Coordinator

“One of the reasons we are doing this is that because Belize, like most of the region, has an issue with an aging farming population. Our farmers, as you can imagine, the average farmer is somewhere between sixty-five and seventy years old. There is also the aspect of technical people which work within the Ministry and our sister agencies like BAHA and so forth. We also have to prepare our young people for those employment opportunities as well and if we don’t start at this early age then all the other attractive employment opportunities will take the lead. Unfortunately, if we don’t have the type of persons in country to produce the food that we consume then we will run into problems very shortly. So, what the camp offers these kids is an eleven day camp with a wrap up on the final day with a kids rodeo. Yesterday we took the kids to Spanish Lookout and Central Farm. They got to see a number of businesses engaged in agricultural production. We visited Country Foods and Western Dairies and in Central Farm we looked at the aquaculture system and the sheep project. The next three days will be the technical training here where they are exposed to gardening and they are doing agro processing where they will be taught to make cheese, jam and salsa. Tomorrow they will be with the guys from our aquaculture unit where they will teach them about tilapia production and later the afternoon they will be with the guys from the livestock program where they will learn about milking cows, making molasses blocks and how to treat the animals and so forth. In the afternoon, our colleagues from the pesticides control board will work with them to learn about safe management and use of pesticides to recognize some of the dangers associated with that and to respect that product. On day five we are back on the road where we take them to Banana Bank where they will engage with grooming, horse management and horse-back riding, so it is a little bit of fun on the final day.”

 

The camp will end off with a rodeo event next Saturday.


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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