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Ministry of Agriculture Hosts Train-the-Trainers Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture Print E-mail
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Friday, 21 June 2019 00:00

Farmers and other end users in the agricultural field can adapt to climate change by adopting new technological tools. Despite changing weather patterns such as less rainfall, farmers can still maintain productivity levels by adopting Climate-Smart approaches.

The Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through the Japan Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (J-CCCP) continued hosting, a five-day Train-the-Trainers Workshop on Climate-Smart Agriculture.

The training aims to strengthen the capacity of Extension and Cooperative Officers from the Ministry of Agriculture, lead farmers and high school teachers for increased resilience to climate change in the agricultural sector of Belize. The training consists of theory and practical sessions centered on the use and implementation of Climate Smart Agriculture and Farmer Field School methods using the Climate Smart Agriculture approach.

Agricultural production in Belize has been impacted by climate change and climate variability. It is, therefore, imperative for the Government of Belize to implement actions which reduce the vulnerability of the agricultural sector. Institutional strengthening and improved technical capacities in the agricultural sector of Belize can improve the country’s ability to respond to climate risks and take advantage of opportunities that could emerge in the long-run.

Mr. Victoriano Pascual, Climate Change and Water Management Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture, reports that farmers have been complaining recently of drought conditions in Belize.

As a result, farmers will now need to be climate smart by learning basic management practices such as efficiency in water use and pest management-with minimum use of both herbicides and pesticides.

Pascual explained to us that as part of the need for increasing agricultural productivity despite climatic factors, we will need to use more water harvesting and precision irrigation where water is directed to the root zones of the plants. Farmers will need to build greater water catchment areas “…to carry us through for the rainy season…”, he said.

Part of the solution to greater catchment areas, be they retention ditches, lagoons and others will require a detailed study of the terrain. Esteban Sibaja, from Agricien in Costa Rica ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) was present to show the audience a range of technological innovations now available that can be used to do this. For example, Global Positioning Systems can be mobilized to collect data, and transmitted to a central area where software is used to process it. Knowing the GPS positions, so too we will be able to understand the elevation on a given terrain. According to Sibaja about 100 hectares can be processed per day using this activity.

Sibaja also explained that drones can be used to collect data on water availability. LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges. LIDAR sensing equipment can be attached to drones suggests Sibaja.

(Esteban Sibaja was about to show a video this morning on rainfall when a team from Courts came in joyously announcing that a member of the audience, Genero Chiac, was the winner of a check bearing $20,000.00)

The training commenced on Monday, June 17, 2019, at the Ministry of Agriculture Conference Room at the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds in Belmopan and will conclude on Friday, June 21st, 2019.

Last Updated on Friday, 21 June 2019 13:49