We’ve all seen the products of the rains on our streets and highways, but what has gone largely undocumented is the devastation that the excessive rains have had on the agricultural sector.
It’s been sever in the Belize District and over the weekend staffers from the Ministry of Agriculture visited Crooked Tree Village to assist farmers affected by the floods. The provisions came in the form of animal feed and agricultural inputs. And even though it might seem like just a handout or a short term fix, for these farmers, it could not have come at a better time.
Hon. Edmund Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North
"This is an initiative from the Government of Belize and the Ministry of Agriculture in trying to assist the livestock farmers in the Crooked Tree area. We'll be dealing with the livestock area issuing over 300 bags of feed today in Crooked Tree on Wednesday, we'll be doing the same thing for the farmers in the Belize River Valley, and on Friday for the affected livestock farmers in Maskall and the old road area. It is important due to the fact that the water is acting the farmers in the area, and Ministry of Agriculture came in. They have done their assessment, and we are reaching out to those farmers who mainly affected by this flood."
James Dawson - Farmer
"Well right now, the challenge is that the land is flooded, the amount of water we're getting right now. This is a most unusual thing that we're experience right now. We usually get floods, but this flood took most of the grass up for the cattle. So, now its hand feed, majority of the farmers have to be hand feeding their cattle right now. These feed are going to come in at a great time because most of the farmers have to chop grass and cane, the ones who have it. What happens is that the water is coming so much that even the cane is hard for us to get, the people who have it. It has to be transported in boat. So, this will come in so handy because we are feeding them with this feed, which is mixed along with molasses. Also, we get the malt from Bowen & Bowen, and it really comes in handy for us, because as soon as the malt finishes out of the dumb, we have to transport it by boat. So, this feed, along with the malt, it came in handy right now for all of us."
The proposed intervention continues today in the Belize River Valley and on Friday in communities along the old northern highway. The Department of Agriculture is asking that all farmers and agricultural producers who are affected by rain and flooding in the Belize District, contact the department at telephone number 2-0-3-2-8-4-2