May 6, 2021

Belize farmers feeling the impact of prolonged drought

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From Jamaica Gleaner

BELMOPAN, Belize, CMC – The Ministry of Agriculture is conducting a survey to determine the extent of the drought situation in northern Belize where reports indicate that farmers could lose millions in lost crops.

“It will take a little time because we are trying to do something detail based on the farming methods, what is being farmed and what stage of planting they are and what they have actually lost,” said Jose Alpuche, the chief executive officer in the Ministry.

“We do know from the outset that we will have shortages in some grains, soy, and corn. We are quite concerned about the impact as it relates to livestock and feed material going into next year. So we are doing a proper assessment so then we can make proper recommendations for addressing the needs of those affected,” he added.

Corn farmers and soybeans producers in Blue Creek Village in the Orange Walk District are feeling the financial pinch of the drought as they stand to lose millions.

Media reports said that farmers who would usually harvest hundreds of acres of corn this year will harvest a lot less which translated to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

The reports warn that the drought is so dire that the current production of soybeans will not be able to satisfy the country’s demand, leading to the need for importation.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology has said that drought conditions will continue in several countries until September this year.

It said Belize is among countries that would continue to experience drought situations and in its latest bulletin noted that “as of June 1, severe, or worse, drought has developed in northern Belize.”

Alpuche, speaking on television, said that the Ministry of Agriculture is aware of the situation and that research is being conducted to properly assess and address the impact caused by the drought.

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