Two international consultants from the Food and Agriculture Organization are in Belize to develop a policy and strategy for agriculture irrigation and drainage. Love News spoke with Ricardo Thompson, Coordinator for Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture.

Ricardo Thompson – Coordinator for Extension, Ministry of Agriculture

“The Ministry of Agriculture is pursuing an irrigation strategy and policy for agriculture. We know that water is very important to crop production and we know that with climate change the weather is so variable and droughts and things like that and so the demand for water is going to become even greater. As a proactive step we are actually taking the initiative to come up with a strategy for irrigation where we are going to be for the next five years. To be able to accomplish that we requested the technical assistance of the FAO and FAO has assisted Belize with two international consultants, Dr. Phil Ridell and Dr. Adrian Cashman who are here to pursue just that. They are basically right now collecting the information, gathering all the necessary data and together with the national consultant, Lucien Chung. With this information they are going to develop the first draft which obviously will be put to the clients and the clients is actually the farmers out there, the stakeholders who actually use water. This will be done at a later date so if we have all buy in and inclusion at the consultative process it is envisioned that at the end of that process we will have a policy strategy that is going to point the direction for the next five years how we are going to pursue irrigation and drainage. We should be in a better position to be able to tap into funding to be able to pursue developmental projects in these areas.”

Thompson all across the country will benefit from the policy as this should improve productivity in all areas.