Sustainable crop agriculture in Belize.

THE ALTERNATIVE TO GMO SEEDS IS HEIRLOOM SEEDS DEVELOPED IN BELIZE

Dr. Mandy Tsang MBChB, DRCOG who has a farm in Belize is already pioneering the making of HEIRLOOM SEEDS in Belize on her farm in the Toledo District. Heirloom seeds is where you take local plants and select the best seeds from the best plants that you are growing with local seeds. Heirloom seeds ensure that you will NEVER have to rely on imported seeds. Particularly GMO seeds or imported hybrids that only run true for one or two plantings. GMO is worse, they are genetically altered each year, due to pest resistance to the gene changes made in them. Or weeds that learn to overcome the GMO seeds.

You can do this with many sorts of crops. For talking purposes we will deal with corn seeds. Depending on the size of your corn crop, you would pick the best ears of corn, from what you grow. The ears should look good and be pleasing to the eye. On a small scale, you pick say 100 ears of your best corn. By elimination, you sort these and get the best 10 that look good. The next step is to select for germination. Pick from the ear after pealing, the best looking seeds in the center of the ear. You need about 20 of the best seeds of corn. You seperate your corn seeds so selected by each plant. You then plant some test rows of these seeds and see which ones germinate the fastest and best.

What you are looking for are the sturdiest plants, the corn plants with the most ears, with the smallest proportion of leaves and stalks. Then after identifying your best plants you eliminate the rest of them. At harvest time you cut and cure all the stalks with the largest number of ears, from the BEST ROW. You do this for each row, or test plot.

For germination, the test can be done with wet paper towel. What you are looking for is rapid sprouting, uniformity. Anything that suggests a weakness or problem you discard. It takes roughly 5 generations to get a special crop of seeds for planting, that are superior than the imported GMO, or hybrid imports. The local seeds so selected take about 3 years, of two crops a year to make sufficient HEIRLOOM SEEDS for regular planting. HEIRLOOM seeds are superior to any type of import. They are adapted already to the soils, the climate and seasons of the year. You will get superior yields on a regular basis without the problems of imported seeds. There is even a market for packaged HEIRLOOM SEEDS PRODUCED IN BELIZE, for Belizean conditions. Some people have already done this and are doing this on a smaller scale of farming. You will be amazed how HEIRLOOM seeds, your very own will improve your crop yields and deal with weeds and insects in our own environment.

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