By WIlliam Ysagirre
Farmers in the Belize District, who were severely affected by the flooding from the last two month’s unprecedented torrential rains, have received assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resource and Agriculture.
Livestock producers in the Crooked Tree and Blackburn areas received animal feed from the ministry on Saturday, January 4, and the ministry continued its intervention by providing similar assistance to the communities of the Belize River Valley on Wednesday, January 8, and to the communities along the old Northern Highway, in the vicinity of Maskall village, on Friday, January 10. All these communities are in highly vulnerable agricultural zones.
The ministry deemed the intervention necessary as the sustained floods of the last two months resulted in decreased livestock production as result of pasture loss; as the usual drainage channels simply could not carry off that discharge of flood waters. The flooding also exacerbated losses in key food commodities produced by local farmers, as a result of the increased pestilence and disease.
The ministry decided on this course of action after receiving feedback from farmers during visits, meetings and extensive consultation with national counterparts, which identified the existing conditions that needed alleviation and established an order of priority for the relief strategy.
The ministry will also offer farmers several other forms of support over the next two months, in the form of training to build the farmers’ capacity to handle the situation so they develop a resilience to the variability of conditions brought on by global climate change.
The ministry invites all farmers and agricultural producers impacted by the sustained flooding, which has been described as the worst adversity to hit the agricultural sector nationally, to contact the Department of Agriculture at 203-2842 for consideration.