New River Farmers Cooperative Secretary Max Hernandez:

‘Testing necessary to improve quality of Belizean vegetables’

Last week, during a visit by Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) Jose Abelardo Mai, Maximiliano Hernandez, secretary of the New River Farmers Cooperative Society said: “To produce, you have to invest. We are using our own resources and loans to do so.”

Hernandez told Minister Mai that the farmers have been testing to see what varieties grow well in the New River area but he believes that seed importers need to lead the way. “The seeds importers do not invest,” Hernandez told Minister Mai. “The small producers make the testing and the importers of seeds benefit. Seed importers need to research what seed varieties grow well in the different areas of the country.”

“We are testing six varieties of carrots for quality, color, size, and a fungus that affects the vegetable,” farmer Cristino Perez told breakingbelizenews.com. He and his sons are among those conducting the testing to find out which varieties are more suitable to grow in the New River area and at what times of the year they grow better as well and which are pest-resistant.

The testing conducted by the New River Farmers Cooperative Society in the area of San Carlos and Indian Church has had good returns. This year they harvested over 200,000 pounds of carrots. They also produced 500,000 million pounds of onions and potatoes, and over 200,000 pounds of cabbages and watermelons and other vegetables such as corn, tomatoes and hot pepper in an area of 1,500 acres of land.


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