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Dec 2, 2021

New River Farmers’ Society Gets Help for Agricultural Upgrades

The Government of Belize today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New River Farmers’ Society Limited of San Carlos Village, Orange Walk for a matching grants initiative under the Resilient Rural Belize Program. Through the program, farmers of the village and surrounding communities will be able to not only grow their vegetables to sell to market vendors, but to learn how to minimize climatic and economic events. Under the program, farmers invest their money to upgrade their farms and the Government matches it to help them.


Prime Minister John Briceno

Prime Minister John Briceno

“The Resilient Rural Belize program is a program where we got funding both loan, grant funding and a portion from the farmers whereby we can be able to assist our rural areas, especially with agriculture, and also for them to be able to prepare for climate change so that they engage in resilient agriculture, making the changes to prepare for climate change like in some instances, green houses, in other instances, making sure that they have enough water or irrigation systems. We have a cooperative here – the New River Cooperative – that a group of farmers have come together to pool their resources to be able to produce to have better products to be able to in effect, make more money, they believe under a cooperative and their business has been very successful so far. We need to buy their products and not only buy them, but as Minister Mai pointed out, to not only buy them but to find new markets outside of Belize. For instance, at this moment, (we’ll) see if we can work out a transport system to get our products from Belize to El Salvador within ten hours.”


Abelardo Mai

Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture

“The days when they used to give out a grant and there’s no contribution, many of those, when the grants done the money done, everything is done. It never functions. But when the farmers have a stake in it, they have to work to keep it up and that’s the whole concept behind the matching grant fund. Now the problem we have is that while we are good producers, we don’t have storage facilities. Post harvest becomes a problem, so this project will seek to address that specific problem, of the inability for the farmers to store their products.”


The Co-op’s plan is to increase its onion production to the point where it can supply fifteen percent of the local market demands and its carrots supply to over nine percent. Minister Mai said that already this year, carrot farmers have been able to produce significantly more carrots than last year.

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