Channel 5

Southern Regional Hospital Comes Under Intense Public Scrutiny for Increased Patient Mortality
The recent deaths of a young mother and a town council employee at the Southern Regional Hospital have brought grief to the families. It has also sparked a protest amid [...]

Elroy Flores Dies Less Than a Day After Being Released from Southern Regional Hospital
The passing of Elroy Flores, an employee of the Dangriga Town Council, is the second death reportedly due to negligence at the Southern Regional Hospital.  Flores, a member of the [...]

SWU Protests Following Deaths at Southern Regional
The turnout at a protest against the so-called increase in deaths at the Southern Regional Hospital was anemic; however, the concerns being voiced are very real.  This afternoon, SWU President [...]

CWU Withdraws 21-day Industrial Action Notice
The impasse between the Christian Workers Union and the Port of Belize Limited is over. Following a meeting this morning, both parties found common ground and after meeting with its [...]

Arturo “Tux” Vasquez: “I think We Are Now on the Same Page”
According to C.E.O. of the Port of Belize Limited, Arturo ‘Tux’ Vasquez, the request for a further reduction in gang size is no longer on the table.  Vasquez says that [...]

All Services Resume at K.H.M.H.
But there is good news from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital here in the city. The K.H.M.H. Authority informs that as of this Monday, the national referral hospital is back [...]

Scrapped for Parts; Felina James’ Vehicle Found
Investigators have made some progress in the murder of thirty-seven-year-old Felina James.  Though no one has been charged, vehicle parts of a Kia Sorento owned by James were reportedly found [...]

Foreign Minister Gives Update on Multimillion-Dollar Referendum Campaign
The referendum to take the territorial dispute between Belize and Guatemala to the International Court of Justice is less than six months away. But the engine of the public awareness [...]

Elrington Slams P.U.P. on Proposed Postponement of Referendum Date
There is a proposal floating around to postpone the April referendum to give Belizeans more time to apprise themselves of the facts.  Foreign Minister Elrington slammed the Opposition for that [...]

Sedi Says Residents in the South Have Had a Change of Heart
Recently, several groups, including the Belize Progressive Party and the southern caucus of the People’s United Party publicly said ‘NO’ to taking the territorial claim to the I.C.J.  The grouping [...]

FM Elrington: Not All Politicians Steep in Belize/Guatemala Dispute
But do the naysayers include some of Elrington’s cabinet colleagues? Last week, Minister Edmond Castro said he will make up his mind after he finds out what Guatemala has to [...]

Belmopan Mayor’s Mind Not Made Up on I.C.J. Question, Yet
Another high profile U.D.P. politician who has not made up his mind is Belmopan’s Mayor, Khalid Belisle.  Belisle told News Five that he is still gathering information in order to [...]

Cabinet Slams Johnny for Sensimilla Proposal
Opposition Leader John Briceño, in his weekly message, proposed the legalization of marijuana in Belize, following a similar endorsement in Canada recently.  In the recorded address, the P.U.P. leader discussed [...]

An Update on the Roll Out of Dialysis Programme
In September, the Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber announced that the dialysis programme of the government was being expanded to include twice the number of persons that were receiving treatment. [...]

SICA Meeting Discusses Migration and Climate Change
Belize holds the pro-tem presidency of SICA until the end of the year when it will be handed over to Guatemala.  Today, the meeting of the Regional Council of Ministers [...]

Shooting Victim’s Family Wants Answers
On Monday, we reported on the shooting of twenty-one-year-old Nathaniel Lockwood of Sand Hill. He was driving his motorcycle carrying a passenger when a vehicle pursued him and the driver [...]

Shooting Victim Succumbs
There is a report that forty-nine-year-old Elroy Saldano succumbed to gunshot wounds today while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Saldano was shot on October fifteenth while he [...]

4th Annual Coastal Awareness Trivia Challenge is Held in Belize City
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is observing Coastal Awareness Week. As a part of the activities, the fourth annual coastal awareness trivia challenge was held in Belize City [...]

Belize Audubon Society Tackles Fishing Pressures with Copper Bank Fisherfolk
Last week we showed you how the Chunox beneficiaries of the Belize Audubon Society’s small grants programme are using their grants to improve their standard of living and to reduce [...]

Copper Bank Community Credit Enterprise is Helping Fisherfolk
There is another programme that Belize Audubon Society helped to establish in Copper Bank Village – it’s called the Community Credit Enterprise. Back in 2009, Audubon sought the assistance of [...]

At-Risk Youths Visit Prison
Forty-eight at-risk youths who are enrolled at the Frank Lizama Training Centre were today taken to the Belize Central Prison for a unique visit. They were taken there for a [...]

LOVE FM

Sheila Ayala is the winner of Coastal Zone’s trivia challenge
Sheila Ayala of St. Ignatius Primary School is the winner (VO) of the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute’s trivia challenge. Second and third place went to Aspen Peralta of Belize Elementary School and Caleb Williams of St. Joseph R.C. Primary School. A total of ten schools participated in the competition with questions based …

Abigail Parham, 2018 Wavemaker
Last Saturday, Oceana held its ninth Annual General Meeting, AGM, for its dedicated “Wavemakers” at the George Price Center in Belmopan, Cayo District. Over two hundred and fifty Wavemakers were in attendance from across the country. Love news spoke with Alyssa Carnegie, Communications Director for Oceana, Belize who says that the Wavemakers were very instrumental …

COSMISCA holds four-day meeting in Belize
The Councils of Ministers of Health for Central America, COMISCA, is holding a four day meeting to come up with a regional plan to address vector borne diseases. Love news spoke with Kim Bautista, Vector Control Chief of Operations at the Ministry of Health, who said that during the meeting they will also be forming …

Matachica places third in Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Award
Matachica, a secluded beachfront getaway, has placed third among the top ten resorts in Central America, in the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. (VO STARTS) Matachica was selected for the 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards, in which nearly half a million travelers participated in by submitting their ratings and feedback to help create …

Winners advanced to the finals
The first place winners of the Belize City House of Culture and Downtown Rejuvenation Project’s History and Social Studies completion are Tyrone McKoy of St. Ignatius Primary School for Zone 1. Meanwhile, Essence Anderson of Bernice Yorke Institute walked away with first place for Zone 2. The competition was held on October 17th and October …

Amandala

DOE “brakes” Diab’s restaurant project
The Belize City Council found itself having to respond over the weekend to media queries about a concrete structure measuring 45 by 104 feet that is being constructed on Sandlighters Promenade on Marine Parade. Media inquiries focused on who was building the structure and for what purpose and what was the property arrangement. The Belize City Council’s newly appointed communications manager, Tamara Minto, explained over the weekend, “The property in question on Marine Parade, which was obtained and tabled by the former council, has since been revived and deemed viable by our present City Council.” She further stated, “With approved plans, we have entered into a lease agreement with an investor to restore and improve the aesthetics of the immediate area.

Charleston Cleland, 19, found murdered on GP Highway
At about 10:00 yesterday morning, Charleston Clifton Cleland, 19, of Wilson Street, was found dead near Bravo Motors, between Miles 4 and 5 on the George Price Highway, on the left side of the road, from the direction of Hattieville leading to Belize City, by a man who was walking on the road. Upon discovering the body, the man called police. Cleland’s throat had been slashed and he had been stabbed in his back and abdomen. At the time he was found, he was wearing white denim pants, but was shirtless.

Mother and child missing 6 days now
A mother and her child have been missing for almost a week now and police are still no closer to finding them. On Thursday, October 18, at around 1:30 p.m., Emperatriz Portillo, 53, a business owner of #128 East Collet Canal, reported that two days earlier, on Tuesday, October 16, at 7 a.m., her friend, Ruby Petino, age unknown, left their residence, and she has not seen her since then. According to police, Petino, who resided at Portillo’s home, left the house with her baby, who is only 1 year and 8 months old, and headed to her work place at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. Since then, Petino and her baby have not returned.

Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila guilty of murder of Richard and Maria Stuart
On Friday, October 19, Supreme Court Justice Colin Williams delivered his verdict in the murder trial of Milton Maza and Eli Lopez Avila, who had been indicted for the October 2010 murder of the attorney Richard Stuart and his accountant wife, Maria Stuart. Justice Williams, reading from his 20-page written judgment, found the two accused guilty of two counts of murder. Richard and Maria Stuart were viciously stabbed to death in their West Landivar home, sometime after 11:30 p.m. when they returned home on October 16, 2010. Sentencing of the convicted murderers is scheduled for November 9, when the court will hear mitigation pleas on their behalf.

Nathaniel Lockwood, 21, critical at KHMH
Nathaniel Lockwood, a Sandhill resident, is in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot multiple times by an unknown shooter who got out of a vehicle and fired at him. The shooter then got back into the vehicle and drove away towards Orange Walk Town. Lockwood was shot in his back, leg, arm and abdomen. During the weekly police brief held this morning at the Raccoon Street Police Station, ASP Alejandro Cowo, Commander of Crimes Investigation, said that Lockwood was at a party Saturday night in Sandhill, when he met his friend, Lyndon Ramos, 35, of Gardenia, who asked Lockwood to take him to Gardenia.

Mexican attorney: “For peace of mind,” go to the ICJ
Mexican attorney, Carlos Bernal Verea, who was part of a 2003 team which successfully litigated a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) favors Belize and Guatemala definitively resolving their centuries-old territorial dispute at the ICJ. His main reasoning is that the Court is “the perfect forum” to ultimately resolve the matter and eliminate the burden hanging over our heads. However, Bernal also made some points that are sure to resonate with the “NO to the ICJ” camp.

Who’s hot, and who’s not? Jarro and Chavirra score hat tricks in Week 10 of PLB 2018-2019 Opening Season
The most sought after, and thus usually the highest paid, commodity in football is the goal scorer, as the game essentially is all about scoring goals. Some strikers are consistent over a long period, and some run hot and then go cold for a long while. These factors need to be taken into consideration when a team is fielded in any game or competition. It is also hard to predict when a striker will break out of a cold spell; and thus it is a challenge for any coach to make his pick of one or the other in his starting eleven. The recent scoreless outing for the Belize national team in our 1-nil loss to Montserrat resulted in much criticism from fans. The then leading Belizean goal scorer in the PLB tournament, Alexander “Pleck” Peters of Freedom Fighters FC, did not even make the national team that travelled to Montserrat.

Belize U-16 at UNCAF tournament in Guatemala
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is proud to present the team that is representing Belize in the U-16 UNCAF tournament in Guatemala. The team travelled to Guatemala on Wednesday, October 17, and is scheduled to return to Belize on October 28. The FFB and President, Mr. Sergio Chuc take this opportunity to wish the team a safe journey. Belize U-16 players (name; district/town/city; position) – Marcos Alvarez (Orange Walk, F); Antwone Baptist (Belmopan, M); Michael Bradley (Belize City, F); Kleron Cacho (Dangriga, D); Isaac Castillo (Belize City, GK); Jahvic Enriquez (Dangriga, D); Wilfredo Galvez (Punta Gorda, F); Kenyon Lawrence (Belmopan, GK); Jeison Medrano (Belmopan, D); Joshawn Flowers (Cayo, M); Henry Palma (Dangriga, D); Tylier Peters (Dangriga, F); Jovaun Ramos (Belize City, M); Eldon Reneau (Belize City, M); Manuel Romero (Belize City, D); Kalyn Fernandez (Belize City, M); Jeremiah Vanegas (Dangriga, M); Ajani Vaughn (Belize City, M).

Belize City primary schools football championships on Wednesday at MCC
The National Sports Council (NSC) administered Belize City Primary Schools Football Tournament, which commenced on September 24 at the MCC Grounds with 8 female teams and 17 male teams participating, held its semifinal games today at the MCC. The male teams had been separated into 3 groups, two of 6 teams each and one of 5 teams; while the females were divided into 2 groups of 4 teams each. In the first female semifinal today, (F) St. Luke Methodist defeated Belize Elementary, 1-0, in overtime with a goal from Samryn Rancharan. The second female semifinal saw (F) Queen’s Square Anglican with the 2-0 win over Holy Redeemer in penalty kicks, after playing to a 0-0 draw in regulation. Penalty kick scorers for Queen’s Square Anglican were Fontasia Tasher and Nala Lynch.

Sports highlights from Punta Gorda
Football The first games of the championship for the youth football tournaments got under way yesterday, Sunday, at the Victor Sanchez Union Field. In the U-15 game, Julian Cho defeated Rookie Strikers by a score of 13 to 3. In the U-17 game, Columbia defeated Toledo United by a score of 3 to 1. The third place games for these tournaments have been cancelled. Domino Tournament On Friday, Police handcuffed Green Fence, 100 to 94. On Saturday, Cemetery buried Unity, 100 to 78. And on Sunday, Hard Knocks schooled Cattle Landing, 100 to 83.

Editorial: Black America
Arbitrarily speaking, we would say that there are at least three important things you should understand about the African American population of the United States of America, which is the acknowledged superpower of planet earth. The first is that African Americans are the financial and technological elite of the Black world. The second is that African Americans are, by and large, loyal to the stars and stripes. They have proven that loyalty. They cherish their American citizenship, and see the U.S. as a country for which they have worked and sacrificed a great deal for an extended period of time. The third important aspect of Black America is that African Americans are a decided minority of the American population, estimated at about ten percent, and the reality of that minority status has had, and presently has, specific effects where the psychology and sociology of African Americans are concerned.

None of that kind of rain allowed on our parade
Talk about raining on a good parade. Most of the people of Belize, a country desperate for heroes, were proud of Belize City mayor, Bernard Wagner, and his deputy, Oscar Arnold, and Belize City Council administrator, Stephanie Lindo-Garbutt, too, for giving the stiff arm to a rather sizable piece of chum that was reportedly left on the desk of the administrator by a too-generous person. The purest among the good were calling for court case, and maybe a hanging, but the sober rank-and-file good people were satisfied with the return to sender. Well, the UDP, in their Guardian newspaper, saw an angle under the table, and while on one end we have to acknowledge their recognition of all the possibilities, on the other end we cannot fail to observe that it takes a certain kind of mind to go there. Indeed, as a man thinketh, so is he.

Musings by the Curious Non-Conformist
There’s much on my mind this week, so much so that I feel I cannot put a finger to the keyboard and have my thoughts not jump from one emotion to the next. I am incredibly overwhelmed this week by all that came and continues to pop up on my Twitter and Facebook accounts. The surges of rape of children, the commonplace gun violence, the caliber of men and women that government, political parties, and voters allow to sit in those wooden parliamentary chambers, my midterms and this impending ICJ question. Whenever I get like this, though, I have friends that I get to sit with and run these questions and concerns by, and this week I chose to put my thoughts out to thaw at the Liberty Hall with a good friend of mine.

4 Belize City residents busted with weed, cocaine and over $12,000
Four Belize City residents — Andrew Hepburn, Shane Flowers, Anthony Gilharry and Lisha Ramirez — have been arrested and charged jointly with possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to others, and Hepburn was additionally charged with drug trafficking. The four persons have all been detained pending arraignment for the offences at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. The men were busted in Hepburn’s house, located on Albert Street, at about 2:30 yesterday afternoon.

Felina James, missing mother of two, found dead
Felina James, 37, a mother of two sons, ages 2 and 9, had been missing for 7 days before she was found dead on Thursday evening, October 18, around 5:20 p.m. Ivette Roches, 69, the children’s babysitter, had reported James missing after she failed to return to pick up her children, whom she had dropped off at Roches’ house in Belize City on October 11 with the promise to return for them the next day. Although much information was not known at the time her body was found, police reports now say that her body was found in the bushes at Mile 2 ½ on the Coastal Road in an advanced state of decomposition. She was reportedly found in her underwear by the caretaker of a farm that was near the scene.

Shot fired in Lake I; bullet enters man’s house
A man has sustained injuries after a single bullet entered his home; however, he wasn’t injured by the bullet, but rather by debris caused by the bullet ricocheting off the wall. Raheem Gordon, 22, a construction worker, was sitting on his couch inside his home on #14 Casuarina Street when he heard a gunshot nearby. He told police he also heard something rushing past him then a subsequent knock on a wall. A few seconds later, he felt a burning sensation in his neck. Later, it was observed that someone had entered his yard and fired a shot through his window.

Hattieville residents busted with 11 pounds of compressed weed
At about 10:00 Friday morning, Deon Arnold, 29; Ian Young 19; and Alex Lewis, 29, all residents of Hattieville, were busted with 11 pounds of compressed cannabis on the Patchakan road in the Corozal District. They were arrested and charged jointly with drug trafficking. On Friday afternoon, they were all taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court, where they were offered bail of $5,000 each and a surety of the same amount, but they were unable to meet bail and they were all remanded until November 28, when they are to return to court.

Mexican attorney: “For peace of mind,” go to the ICJ
Mexican attorney, Carlos Bernal Verea, who was part of a 2003 team which successfully litigated a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) favors Belize and Guatemala definitively resolving their centuries-old territorial dispute at the ICJ. His main reasoning is that the Court is “the perfect forum” to ultimately resolve the matter and eliminate the burden hanging over our heads. However, Bernal also made some points that are sure to resonate with the “NO to the ICJ” camp. Belizean media met with the now professor for a decade of the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City. The hour-long taped discussion was facilitated by the US Embassy in Belmopan as part of a project titled “From Fear to Facts: Demystifying the ICJ.”

The Reporter

Felina James – VEHICLE FOUND, PERSISTENT POLICE INVESTIGATION TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED
There are reliable reports that the investigation into the gruesome murder of Felina James, 37, has led to the discovery of what Police believe is her red Kia Sorento. The burned and chopped remains of the vehicle were reportedly found at a mechanic’s shop located in Steadfast Village in the Stann Creek District.

SHOOTING VICTIM CLINGS TO LIFE, – SHOOTER CHARGED
Family members of Elroy Saldano, 49, say they have been told by doctors that his prognosis is grim. Saldano was shot on Monday as he rode his bicycle near BWS in Belize City.

MORE DETAILS EMERGE, ABOUT MISSING 14yr. OLD Shamily Tillett
Family members of Shamily Tillett, 14, are accusing Police of not helping them to locate her. Tillett, a resident of August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District, left home on September 24th, allegedly with a male person, 27, from the same village.

Issue #41 - October 2018 of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online here!
Click HERE to download the PDF

Quality Feed Mill: Expands Soy Processing as Local Soy Production Replaces Imported
After becoming convinced that Spanish Lookout farmers could grow soybeans well and that their community would benefit from a soy processing facility, Quality Feed Mill (QFM) cautiously worked to accomplish that goal, purchasing their first soybeans in 2013…

DGFT Trade Intelligence: 2017 Foreign Trade Data Disaggregation
Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce — DGFT Trade Intelligence Report: 2017 Foreign Trade Data Disaggregation. Export and Import Partner Countries; Export Trade Partners per Commodities; Import Commodities and Trade Partners; Monthly Imports of Vegetables.

Travel Global, Eat Local
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture launched the Tourism Consumption Study at the 54th Annual Caribbean Food Crop Society (CFCS) Meeting held in Belize City in July 2018. The aims of the study are to quantify the existing and potential demand of agricultural products by the tourism industry as well as to assess barriers that inhibit the linkage between agricultural supply and tourism demand and ultimately determine possible interventions to improve the supply of local agricultural products to the tourism industry.

Agriculture Prices at a Glance – Oct. 2018

Belize National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) Launch
The launch of the NBSAP on May 31, 2018 coincided closely with the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As one of the signatories numbering 195 countries plus the EU, Belize implemented its pledge to conserve biological components in several phases including the development of the NBSAP, a five year action plan of the national biodiversity goals.

Beyond the Backyard – Arrowroot, the Obedience Plant
My criteria for choosing plants for my garden are usually 1. Can you eat it? 2. Is it attractive or showy? No doubt this is why the arrowroot plant did not cross my gate until now. I was well acquainted with British biscuits and infant teething rusks and have long used the white powder as a thickening agent as opposed to corn flour. Yet I had never seen a plant or had any idea of its uses and its impressive history.

Management of Internal Parasites of Sheep and Goats
Belize is in the process of building a sheep meat industry and is also experiencing a relatively new expansion in goat production, particularly focused on dairy. With this new direction it is important to improve various aspects of their production. These include genetics, nutrition, reproduction, husbandry, health and marketing. A number of these are being addressed by various entities.

Passionfruit
Passionfruit is one of the fastest growing and most worthwhile fruit for Belize. Passionfruit belongs to the diverse Passifloracea or Passion Flower Family, which contains around 600 species of flowering herbaceous vines. Of these 600 known species of Passiflora, many are grown worldwide in tropical and subtropical gardens for their extremely unique and beautiful flowers.

Spanish Lookout’s Quality Feed Mill Expands Soy Processing as Local Soy Production Replaces Imported
After becoming convinced that Spanish Lookout farmers could grow soybeans well and that their community would benefit from a soy processing facility, Quality Feed Mill (QFM) cautiously worked to accomplish that goal, purchasing their first soybeans in 2013. At that time all their beans were processed at a facility in Blue Creek, Orange Walk District. In 2013 they purchased and moved various pieces of soybean processing equipment from Yo Creek, Orange Walk, where a soybean processing facility had been built but was never fully operational. In 2016 the first soybeans were processed at their Spanish Lookout facility. Also in 2016, a visit to QFM by tourist Joel Yorgey of Iowa lead to interactions positive to both.

Key Stages of Resilience for Plant Health By John Kempf
Our vision and our mission is to help farmers produce healthy crops which are insect and disease resistant and have no need for toxic insecticides and fungicides. We can accomplish this goal by providing farmers with knowledge of how diseases and insect pests interact with growing plants, tools to monitor crop health in the field, and information and materials which can be used to increase and enhance plant health.

The Belize Agriculture Information Management System (BAIMS) and the 2018 Belize National Agriculture Census By Milagro Matus
The agriculture and food sector is one of the main pillars of the Belizean economy, contributing approximately $590 million annually to economic output, representing 80% of domestic exports, and directly employing 17.9% of the Belizean population. Moreover, it is a major foreign exchange earner, maintains a vibrant rural population and ensures food and nutrition security for the country. The Ministry of Agriculture is implementing initiatives to reform the enabling environment for agriculture and food production including the regulatory framework, market reform, and adoption of advanced technologies to counter the significant challenges posed by climate change.

Management of Internal Parasites of Sheep and Goats By Daniel Juan
Belize is in the process of building a sheep meat industry and is also experiencing a relatively new expansion in goat production, particularly focused on dairy. With this new direction it is important to improve various aspects of their production. These include genetics, nutrition, reproduction, husbandry, health and marketing. A number of these are being addressed by various entities. This article hopes to shed some light on one aspect of health – internal parasite management. Internal parasites of these livestock are generally pulmonary or gastrointestinal.

BLPA and CATIE Sign Agreement for Technical Assistance
On Wednesday 15th August 2018, Ms. Elba Cruz, Manager of the Belize Livestock Producers Association (BLPA) and Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, Director of The Agronomic Centre for Tropical Research and Education (CATIE) signed an agreement for the provision of technical cooperation services to strengthen the livestock industry.

Andre Leu: Building Topsoil with Regenerative Practices
Topsoil is where the majority of the plant available nutrients, beneficial microorganisms and crop available water are found. The most important component of topsoil is organic matter composed mostly of soil organic carbon (SOC). It is estimated that agricultural soils have lost 50% to 70% of their original soil organic carbon pool and the depletion is exacerbated by further soil degradation. Longer rotations, cover crops, green manures...

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin: Regenerative Poultry Management
Reginaldo will present on a revolutionary Poultry Centered Regenerative Farm model that is a success in Guatemala, Mexico and the US. The model is built not on a nearsighted drive toward maximum profit, but on a triple bottom-line being ecological, economical and socially viable. At the system’s center are free-range meat/egg poultry, raised in a well-managed paddock planted with a combination of perennials, cover crops, and small grains that provide additional cash value to the farmers and nutrition and shelter for the chicken.

VACA AT A TURNING POINT
The Vaca Forest Reserve (VFR) is the closest forest reserve to the communities of Arenal, Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Jose Succotz. For the young boys of the Youth Environmental Action Group (YEAG) based in Succotz, this reserve was the closest, too, for outdoor camping and nature studies in the late 1980’s. At that time Don Antonio Morales used to describe the richness of the forest bustling with wildlife, intact caves and fresh water. But he had concerns since there was much talk about the construction of the dam on the Macal River and road access to the core of the Vaca Plateau. His late night anecdotes would end up with hopes that the forested area would remain just as how he found it in the late 1970’s when he arrived in the Vaca Plateau. The VFR covers an area of 40,303 acres (16,317 ha), and forms part of the Greater Maya Mountains Massif (a key biodiversity conservation area). It is bordered on the east by the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and Nojkaaxmeen Elijio Panti National Park and to the south by the Chiquibul National Park.

Carambola, the Star By Deborah Harder
Carambola, Averrhoa carambola, is also called starfruit because the cross-section of its fruit is shaped like a 5 pointed star (although in rare instances it may have 6 – 8 points); it is a delightful tree with beautiful foliage and sprays of delicate purple blossoms. It grows well in a variety of soils and bears twice a year — November through January and May through August. The fruit, with its rather firm, translucent flesh, seems to appeal especially to Northerners due to its light, juicy quality, as opposed to other tropical fruits, some of which can seem rather heavy and overly rich to northern tastes.

The Economics of Industrial Hemp By Karin Westdyk
The U.S. currently imports an estimated $2 billion worth of industrial hemp each year. Though it is the world’s largest consumer of hemp and hemp products, US farmers have not enjoyed “harvesting” the benefits of growing hemp for the better part of a century. Based on disinformation, created and fueled by those who benefitted from its prohibition, a war was waged against a plant with the potential to provide quality food and shelter, a carbonnegative fuel, strong fiber and paper, and an effective medicine where pharmaceuticals have failed. Using racism and “fake news” hemp was vilified and since 1937, banished from the landscape, allowing fossil fuels to dominate agriculture, energy, and products that have caused great havoc, leaving a trail of pollution, illness, and war. But this is changing…

Protein Bank Update By Chris Harris, White Rock Farm
Quite a lot has happened since the first article about our protein bank. (See Belize Ag Report, issue 39.) In truth we have learned quite a lot. It’s a good news/ bad news story really. First the good news: we have been able to save quite a bit of money in proprietary feed costs. To be honest however, that was the easy part. Just don’t buy…!! The bad news is that our broiler growth rate dropped significantly when we substituted natural grass/leaf feed for part of the broiler grower we had been using.

THE BIOCHAR SOLUTION - Carbon Farming and Climate Change By Albert Bates, Reviewed by Chris Harris
The first thing to say about this book is that it is not for the deniers of climate change-or perhaps it is… By tracing the origins and history of agriculture around the world, from the very beginning of man’s involvement in life on “the third rock from the sun” the author presents a plausible account of the highs and lows of our struggle with nature and the impact on our future. Around 400,000 years of history from cave paintings through to modern day scientific research has given us a fascinating story of success and failure, of the rise and fall of civilizations and the impact on food production over the years.

Ag Briefs

Management for Sustaining the Vaca Forest Reserve By Sarah Ottinger and Elizabeth Becker
This is the first in a series of articles to be written by college research students involved in projects to study human impacts on the Vaca Forest Reserve (VFR), a protected 15,314- hectare multi-use conserved area of land located in western Cayo. VFR provides renewable resources to the surrounding communities of Arenal, San Jose Succotz, and Benque. The students come from multiple US universities. They are focusing on agricultural plant and soil science, forestry, wildlife, and human/social dimensions of the VFR.

Ag Calendar

Blogs

Halloween JUST Snuck Up On Me This Year!
Halloween is HUGE In San Pedro Belize. But this year….it’s fallen off my radar. Maybe it’s the fact that it falls on Wednesday? Leaves you wondering WHAT weekend it will be celebrated on? So I went thru some of my old photos of Halloween’s past. And took a photo of the ONE Halloween decoration that I bought this year. It looks great next to my gardening machete. This WICKED spider bowl from A&R for $2.95bzd. (They have a TON of great decorations this year for all your last minute Halloweeners)

Matachica Amongst Top 10 Resorts in Central America – 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards
Secluded beachfront getaway, Matachica, is honored to announce that they have placed third amongst the top ten resorts in Central America in the 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The awards are the longest-running recognition of excellence in the travel industry, surveying travelers around the globe on every aspect of their experiences.

International Sourcesizz

Lonely Planet has compiled a ranking of the best destinations in the next year
Experts authoritative travel resource Lonely Planet has compiled a rating of the best tourist destinations next year. Among the countries was leading Sri Lanka, Germany and Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka was in the lead due to their developed infrastructure that has significantly improved after a decade of internal conflict. Also attracts the attention of tourists the diversity of cultures, local hospitality, and abundant wildlife. The top ten countries included Panama, Kyrgyzstan, Jordan, Indonesia, Belarus, Sao Tome and Principe, Belize. As for the TOP 10 cities, the leader is recognized as the capital of Denmark Copenhagen. Next are the Chinese Shenzhen and Serbian Novi Sad, as well as Miami (USA), Kathmandu (Nepal), Mexico city (Mexico), Dakar (Senegal), Seattle (USA), Zadar (Croatia) and Meknes (Morocco).

Videos

  • Caye Caulker Stakeholder Meeting, 21min. Stakeholders meeting for our new Health Center

  • Nicky Baptist live., 1hr25min.

  • Why did the crocodile cross the road?, 1min. Luckily for this scared cat, it was to get to the other side! Thank you Victor Carrillo of Caye Caulker for sharing this video with us!

  • Bruk it down jenny - parenting techniques & balance between discipline and understanding, 38min. Jenny Lovell, Mental Health Therapist,

  • UB ERI representatives - Birds, 38min. UB ERI representatives were our guest to talk all things birds. Did you know you can tell a bird's age and sex by its plumage, the breathing patterns on its stomach and the condition of its feathers? We didn't either! They spoke of the ongoing bird banding project and talked about the research and how it will inform their efforts to protect this natural resource. On our couch:

  • Women in Maritime Association Regional Essay Competition 2017 winner, 17min. Geniva Lambey is a fifteen year old student of St. Catherine's Academy. She is the winner of the 2017 Women in Maritime Association Regional Essay Competition. She was our guest to talk about her essay and why she was inspired to participate and write on the issues facing women in this sector.

  • The Belize City Council - improve business in the city Super Sale Zone, 32min. The Belize City Council is continuing their efforts to improve business in the city. Mayor Bernard Wagner and his team were our guests to discuss the latest initiative - Last Saturday Super Sale Zone. Businesses are on board to provide customers discounted deals every last Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Our guests spoke to us about how this incentive serves city residents. On our couch: Bernard Wagner - Mayor, Belize City Council. Alan Pollard - Counselor, Traffic, Community Participation, Public Relations and Special Events ,Belize City Council. Jacqueline Roe - Managing Director, Hofius.

  • 16th National Tourism Awards, 5min. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held its 16th National Tourism Awards on Saturday, October 22nd. The event was a grand celebration of Belize’s booming tourism industry and the people who work tirelessly to make Belize one of the best tourism destinations in the region. Here are some highlights of that event…

  • What is the Sustainable & Child Friendly Municipality Initiative?, 3min. For those who are asking what Child Friendly City/ town is all about, here is an explanation in a nut shell!

  • Belize Snorkel & Starfish Island, 8min. Hey Everyone! We are in the beautiful country of Belize and start our excursion off with a 20 minute ferry ride to the barrier reef site. Which is the second biggest Barrier Reef in the world. We snorkel at the site for a hour and got to see all kinds of fish, stingrays, and jellyfish. After the snorkel session they served us free rum punch all the way to starfish island, where you can have another 2 hours to relax or do some other things that you will see in the video.

  • House Hunters International 10/23/2018 - Going Big in Belize, 21min. A New Jersey family sells all their possessions and moves to the beach paradise of Placencia, Belize. They want to find a home on the perfect investment property where they can raise their young son. Will they take the plunge and go way over budget or play it safe?

  • Backpacking Belize, 8.5min. Adventuring/hitchhiking through Belize

  • Backpacking Belize | Chillin in Caye Caulker, 2min. The highlight of our time in Caye Caulker was enjoyed at the Iguana Reef Inn. Beautiful beach area and dock for daytime hangouts, delicious drinks at the bar, comfortable rooms and amazing aquatic critters that swim right up to the dock!

  • Belize - Shark feeding on Lion fish, 1min.

  • Belize Canoe Race: New River Quest Day 1, 16min. Belize Off Grid family / Horsing Around crew follow and lend support to teams in the 1st New River Quest Canoe Race in Northern Belize

  • Friendly Remora Checks Out Divers - Belize Mini Elbow, 14min.

  • Acción Deportiva, 60min.

  • Police Check Point Talk Show , 60min.