by Ray Auxillou
The media news concentration down in the main coastal port town seem more irrelevant to the development and national news reporting every succeeding week. Most of their news is local news in the port, involving crime, or politics; ignoring the fabulous successful developments going on around the nation of Belize. Economic success stories are rare to read in the coastal media, passing itself off as a feeble imitation of national news.
For instance; three years ago, over a million and quarter dollars of lettuce were imported. This year the statistics show that only a hundred thousand dollars of lettuce have been imported. Meaning; that three producers of lettuce have been making decent money, commercial growing. One American Belizean grower using hydroponics on one acre, grossed about $40,000 for this year, per acre; while up in Orange Walk, two Belizean Mennonite white folks got their hands dirty and shared over a million dollars gross between them, for a four month crop, growing lettuce, according to the import substitution statistics.
Onions are another success story in commercial import substitution vegetable market gardening in Belize. Somebody tried their hand at modern drip feeding irrigation. Sort of copying the papaya BOMBA operation, introduced I'm told by USAID using drip irrigation systems. With a well into the acquifer, or a local stream, you can get sufficient water to grow onions in Belize. For a capital investment of $4,625 in pump, and pvc lines, having drip feeders every foot and a half on both sides of a string of onions. A grower this year has grossed, in excess of a half a million dollars in just four months, again from playing with the statistics to see what is going on. The statistics office has data up to the end of every month and are very knowledgeable.
We are producing only 40% of our demand in onions, says Manuel Trujillo, Research Dept head at Central Farm Agriculture station. Yields are running 10,000 lbs to 25,000 lbs per acre. Depending on which watering system you use. Prices run about .50 cents to $1.20 a pound.
Corozal district is producing 70% of our local onions and Orange Walk district is producing 20%.
THE YEAR ISNíT EVEN OVER YET! HOW COME OUR COASTAL MEDIA DO NOT FIND THIS NEWS?
All those sorry ass townies down on the coast are fighting over political jobs at pittance wages, while the farmers in Belize are making the real money. How many politicians got their own airplanes I wonder, like some of our farmers.
Even our agricultural Twin Town STAR newspaper publisher doesn't find making money articles news. He says, sex, scandals, crime and politics sells his newspapers. Not making money in agriculture out here in Cayo.