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Agric is here again, and will be the last weekend in April, they 27th through the 29th. Congratulations to all the winners of the Farmers of the Year awards.

"The National Agriculture and Trade Show is proud to announce the winners of the Farmers of the Year award for 2012. The awardees are as follows:
Woman Farmer of the Year - Mrs. Maria Balan from Paslow Falls, Cayo District.
Senior Farmer of the Year - Mr. Jorge Moralez, Consejo Road, Corozal District
Junior Farmer of the Year - Mr. Nandy Aldana, Concepcion Village, Corozal District.

The NATS Committee would like to congratulate the winning farmers and would also like to thank the others nominees who participated in the competition."

LINK to the National Agricultural and Trade Show Facebook page

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National Agriculture and Trade Show 2012 jumps off

The National Agriculture and Trade Show is one of Belize's biggest events which draws thousands from across the country to the nation's capital for the weekend. At the Show, a number of activities will take place showcasing the country's best crops, animals and plants and if you're looking for a good deal, the show grounds is the place to be. The show is scheduled for this coming weekend from April 27th through to Sunday April 29th. The official ceremonies got started at 4pm this evening and Minister of Agriculture the Hon. Gaspar Vega gave the opening remarks.

Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture
This year's theme "Agriculture - creating greater business opportunities, a healthier population and a robust economy" describes four goals of the Ministry. An examination of the sector's average annual output over the last five years clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the business generated. Last year, we imported some two hundred thirty million dollars worth of agriculture and food products. This is twice as much as we imported five years ago. This shows a sharp rise in demand for imported products.

The Farmers of the year 2012 were awarded on the main stage for their dedication to the growth of agriculture in Belize, among other presentations.


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The forty third annual National Agriculture and Trade Show opened this evening in Belmopan. Over the course of the next two days, farmers and agriculture producers will showcase their products and services. Thousands of Belizeans are expected to attend the two day event. During the opening ceremony, Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Gaspar Vega told the nation that agriculture remains an important contributor to the Belizean economy, a fact that must not be lost on Belizeans from every walk of life.

Gaspar Vega - Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture "This year's theme, Agriculture creating greater business opportunities, a healthier population and a more robust economy, aptly describes core goals of the ministry. An examination of the sector's average annual output over the last five years clearly demonstrates the magnitude of the business generated. Agriculture exports averaged $383 million per annum now add to this $451 million being agriculture production for domestic use and you then get a good indicator of its importance. Include in this equation an estimated agriculture labour force of over 20,000 employed and the result is a realization that we are still an agriculture centered economy and I even dare to say an agriculture centered economy."

Minister Vega also noted that last year Belize imported two hundred and thirty seven million dollars worth of agriculture and food products. This he says is twice as much as was imported five years ago, reflecting a sharp increase in the demand for imported agriculture products.


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The Animals, The Rodeo, Plants and San Pedrano Sightings at the 2012 Belize National Agriculture And Trade Show in Belmopan

I hardly know where to start with this series of the posts (a two parter). The Belize National Agriculture and Trade Show takes place in Belmopan on the huge fair grounds each year. This year it was Friday thru Sunday, April 27th to 29th. It is not just is music, there are games and contests, there are animals, there is a rodeo, there is motorcross, shopping, drinking, eating, dancing, a dog show, a flower show, a sweating clown, there are mechanical rides, a giant ferris wheel that goes incredibly fast and is powered by a guy on a is almost overwhelming.

Yes, what people say about this event is true. It is hot, way hot (it is mainland Belize at the end of April for pete's sake). Yes, it is crowded. (So many people tell me "I can't go. I don't like crowds"...ummm...really?...who does?) It is crowded with people of all ages having a good time. And yes, there is lots of walking. But EVERYTHING I saw made the trip 100% worth it. I travelled to Belmopan thinking that I had to attend this HUGE fair once. But I will be returning every year. Guaranteed. I had one of the most fun days I've ever had in Belize.

At the very south end of Ambregris Caye, we flew over an area called Cayo Congrejo and the Siete Canales (or Seven Channels). Deeper water canals that cut through the little bits of land and mangroves, this area is supposed to be great for fishing.

Since they were expecting 20-25 thousand people at the show over the weekend and only about 14,000 live in Belmopan, we knew that lots of people would be travelling. Especially from Belize's biggest city, Belize City. Be prepared. There is no order when getting on the bus in Belize. No waiting on line. It is a total free for all. Even though we were supposed to wait at gate one, people rush from every gate. Usually this isn't a problem...but when there is a crowd, sharpen your elbows.

To the fair! $5 entrance. Policemen with metal detecting wands (only applied to those deemed suspicious looking...I, thankfully, made the cut). And this map and schedule of events for the two days. INVALUABLE.

The show was originally started to compare, show, sell and exchange information on animals and crops. I'd guess about half of the fair remains devoted to those pursuits. We first went to examine the fruits and vegetables of Belize that were going to be judged to crown the biggest and best. Most I recognized...and some I didn't.

Some displays were a bit more elaborate but every fruit/vegetable/legume grown in Belize was represented.

The different types of oranges, tangelos, limes, grapefruits that they experiment with to get the best taste and the best juice. The Dangriga area in Stann Creek is definitely the citrus belt of the country. There was quite a bit of information on the diseases, particularly the one that is now harming the orange and lemon crops, that can kill citrus trees and their fruit.

Next the area where there were displays on plant and crop cultivation.

How to start your own rice paddy.

How to grow potatoes and other root vegetables.

How to start an urban garden.

These nice ladies from the Women Groups of Northern Belize were selling Wow Soy Sauce which they make in Orange Walk. The sample tasted delicious. $2bzd and I had a bottle of my own. They told us to look for it in major stores in Belize City soon.

The Brahman bulls came in different sizes. From this small, sleepy guy at 1400lbs.

To this 9 year old at over 2100lbs.

Brahman cattle are distinctive because of the hump on the back and the flap of skin on their throats. The hump allows them to store fat and water in times of severe drought. They do much better than standard cattle in the tropics with their oily skin that repels flies and deflects the sun. Unlike Brahman cattle, standards breeds can't sweat through their skin. Poor guys. You belong up north.

Lots of horses of all sizes.

I haven't even started on the flowers and decorative plants...let's cruise through with one or two. The "Flower Palace" displayed all of the entrants and the winners.

Beautiful orchids. to the rodeo! Calf roping, barrel racing...all the stuff I've only seen in movies.

Phew! And I've barely scratched the surface. There is so much, food, beer, games of chance, the scary ferris wheel. Stayed tuned tomorrow for Part 2.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see LOTS more photos on San Pedro Scoop

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Chief Agriculture Officer assess Agric 2012

The Agriculture Show was ostentatious in presentation with impressive numbers turning out on both Saturday and Sunday; although it was not without incidence it was still considered a successful one as stated by Mr. Eugene Waight, Chief Agriculture Officer and Chairman of the National Agricultural and Trade Show Committee. Plus News crew caught up with Mr. Waight at the show grounds this morning and asked him for his assessment of the weekend.

Eugene Waight, Chief Agriculture Officer
I think the show was one of the biggest and the brightest. We actually sold more booths and spots than we have sold in the last years. I ran out of vehicle passes to come into the show. I am very proud of the display that the Ministry of Agriculture did, both here and at the Central Farm booth - those were well organized. The presentations were very organized and representative of what agriculture is all about. There were representatives from the Taiwanese Mission and the Fisheries Department. Overall, we have more agriculture exhibitions here than we have had in the past.

He also highlighted effective security measures that were activated by the Police Dept. for the protection of visitors.

Eugene Waight
The Police were on high alert because of the crime situation in Belize and because of the rumors about a group coming to put a bomb someplace in the showground. They had an operational plan and when I looked around there were Police all over the place, expect the little event that happened over Saturday night. However you can't control every aspect because of the immensity of the show and the size of the compound. I know the Police did their best.

We noted the excessive garbage littering the grounds and asked Waight to comment on it.

Julian Cruz, Journalist, PlusNews
I need for you to speak on the waste management issue. We are standing here in the middle of a lot of garbage, how can it be more effectively implemented?

Eugene Waight
The Belizean culture has a long way to go. Everywhere we put drums strategically across the compound and when I go on the radio before the show I always speak about this - there are drums set across this compound to encourage people to put the garbage in its right place. Unfortunately that's not the case; we still end up with this amount of garbage at the end of the show. That seems to be something that we not only as an agriculture show committee but as a country, need to educate the public - that we need to play our roles as individuals and don't depend on other people to come and pick up. If everyone would have played a role, it would be cheaper for us, because we would spend less days cleaning up. We still have at least sixteen to eighteen people here that will be working for another week, cleaning up this compound.

In recent years speculation has abound about mismanagement at the ticket booths and the financial losses to the government. In this regard Waight indicated that careful measures were implemented to ensure the financial success of the show.

Eugene Waight
This year, I hope to generate some income and what I have promoted to the committee is that instead of having the field crew working from mid February, we start April 2nd, because I think that's enough time to prepare the showground. In terms of the show goers, we had about the same number or probably a little less than the year before. However, being practical, we did not expect to get more people than any other year; you have to understand that the crime situation may have impacted a little bit, also the economic situation. We are not concerned about that; even in our planning, we weren't expecting more people, but we are happy about the people that came out.

The event saw the attendance of between 23 - 24,000 persons visiting over 200 business and display booths during the three days.



Officials estimate that over 20 thousand visitors stopped in at the National Agriculture and show which ended yesterday in Belmopan. Chairman of the National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee Eugene Waight told Love News the event was a success.

"I definitely believe that this was one of the bigger and brighter agriculture show that we have had over the last years. There were definitely more participation of more companies, a number of new companies came to the show, there were a lot more booths sold and overall I think turnout was very good in terms of people coming out to the show. The estimate for Saturday was about 8,500 which is more than we had the year before and Sunday the estimate was about 14,000."

The forty third annual National Agriculture and Trade Show was held with the theme Agriculture - Creating greater business opportunities, a healthier population and a more robust economy.


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Looks like a lot of fun smile

San Pedro based Belize Blog since 2007 - great travel resources & discounts

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Part 2: The Food, Games, Rides, Shopping, Music and Beers at the 2012 Belize Agriculture and Trade Show

The Agriculture and Trade Show of Belize isn't just trade and agriculture, it isn't just animals and plants. There is so much going on. The fair grounds are HUGE and open at 6am...the schedule is jam packed from early morning until the grounds close at 6pm.

My favorite booth of all and the one that I frequented the most (other than Belikin and Heinekin) was this simple coconut water stand. ICE cold and sweet. I think I bought 5 glasses a day.

I must have really needed it...I will let you know (whether you want to or not) that I drank all of that coconut water, a few diet Cokes and many, many beers and didn't have to use the public stalls once. THAT is how hot it was. The sweating never stopped.

I bought some magical hemp oil, Coco de Rasta...touted to fix just about everything (from acne to ringworm). It was also a booth to sign a petition to legalize marijuana.

The Running W food area was my favorite for food. They were grilling massive amounts of Italian sausage on a stick, steak on a stick and yummy thick pork chops served with flour tortillas. Pork in Belize is SO much more flavorful than in the United States...really really tasty.

There was an amazing amount of homemade wines/moonshine.

Let's swing by the rides and games...things didn't get going until later in the afternoon.

All the major rum and liquor companies had a booth.

Great music, DJs getting the crowd going...everyone was drinking from these little Heineken cans. 3 for $10bzd.

Love FM and TV was broadcasting the whole three day event.

The music at the main stage was incredible. Gilharry 7 played all day with featured artists peppered in.

Unlike ferris wheels that I've been on, this one whipped you that sensation that you were falling each time you went over.

It was also held together with quite a bit of string, duct tape and what looked like wire hangers.

The view was worth it...

In the end, this event rocked. I will definitely be back.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos on San Pedro Scoop

Joined: Apr 2012
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Very nice coverage! You definitely got a lot of the Agriculture section. We have some nice shots of the Agriculture Show on our Belize Blog if anyone wants to see smile

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Enjoy the pride of Belize at the National Agriculture & Trade Show!

Less than one hundred miles from San Pedro, Belize's largest yearly Agriculture Show is held in the capital city of Belmopan. While many island residents choose not to attend; complaining of extreme heat and crowded, dusty fair grounds, The San Pedro Sun decided that we'd make a go at it and see for ourselves whether this highly anticipated three day event is worth the journey and the seasonal temperatures. While the event started on Friday, our best bet was Saturday and Sunday to get a really good feel for the show. Being that the last time I went to an Agriculture show was over fifteen years ago, I must admit I was quite excited. So much so, that I took the first flight at 7AM on Saturday from San Pedro en route to what could quite possibly be one of the best weekends in a long time. After a short fifteen minute flight on board Tropic Air, I arrived at the municipal airport in Belize City. A cab ride took me to the City's bus terminal where I boarded a packed bus to Belmopan.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

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