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Feb 17, 2023

Nago Bank Road Upgraded under Resilient Rural Belize

Nago Bank Road in rural Belize District was officially opened today after almost nine months of road work. C.E.O.s from five line ministries including economic development, rural transformation, infrastructure development, agriculture, and transport along with agro-producers from the area gathered to celebrate the occasion. With the improved road, farmers will have better access to their farmland, stimulating greater economic activity. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Back in May of 2022 a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the upgrade of the Nago Bank Road located just outside of Maskall Village in the Belize District. Fast track to today, the area now boasts a little over three miles of climate resilient main road through the community. So why was the upgrade necessary? Well, the farming community of Nago Bank is referred to as the vegetable basket for the Belize District and as C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise puts it, access roads are important for agricultural producers.


Servulo Baeza, C.E.O., Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security & Enterprise

Servulo Baeza

“Not only for them to be able to access their farms or in terms of their production, but also for our extension officers, for our cooperative officers, for the RRB personnel to come out here – an access road is so important – when their products are also ready for market, for them to be able to take it out. I remember right after 2020 when we came back the first time, that road was in such a disaster. When it was raining, you couldn’t come back here; water would get right up to your hip. So imagine when you see this road and how it will facilitate the moment of people coming in and coming out. It has become one of the main productive areas. And I must say, not only Nago Bank, but this area of the Belize District, you have this cooperative here in Nago Bank, the Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos, you also have the Bomba Cooperative and the Orellana brothers and those two areas have become very productive that they supply most of the vegetables to Belize District.  They supply quite a large portion of the market in even San Pedro and I understand that some of their products now are even getting to Orange Walk and even Belmopan.”


Dr. Osmond Martinez

Dr. Osmond Martinez, C.E.O., Ministry of Economic Development

“Farmers that were neglected and that are producing quality products is definitely telling us that Belize has prioritized food security. Secondly, it will increase economic activity because now you will have big trucks that can come all the way here to pick up the products and take them to the different markets.”


The upgrade of the Nago Bank Road is the first infrastructure project under the Resilient Rural Belize Program – a forty million-dollar program funded through a collaborative partnership between IFAD, the Green Climate Fund and the Government of Belize. C.E.O. of the Ministry of Economic Development, Doctor Osmond Martinez says that climate change has been affecting the agro-productive sector.


Dr. Osmond Martinez

“Climate change has a mega appetite to the point that it is swallowing not only the coastal areas and not only creating issues in the blue economy, which is the marine life, but it is also swallowing the agro-productive sector. Infrastructure has become a huge issue now because all of the infrastructure development has to be done under a climate resilient system. But the mega appetite of climate change has swallowed the limited resources within the government where almost four percent of our GDP is being lost because of the impacts of climate change.”


The cost of the road was approximately one point seven million dollars and the contract was given to Teichroeb and Sons Limited, who completed the project in just under nine months. C.E.O. in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Housing, Victor Espat spoke about delivering on the commitment.


Victor Espat

Victor Espat, C.E.O., Ministry of Infrastructure Development & Housing

“We came to assure one and all that the Nago Bank Road would be upgraded to a two-lane gravel surface road, complete with installation of concrete culverts and improved drainage to ensure all year access to the farmers and residents. This road project was let to open tender in accordance with the procurement regulations of IFAD and the Government of Belize. Based on the evaluation of tenders received, Teichroeb and Sons was found to have submitted the lowest evaluated tender and won the award of contract to upgrade the Nago Bank Road. The contract sum was for one point seven million dollars and the initial time of completion was six months including a defects liability period of three months.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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