CARDI was delighted to join with partners in Belize to recognize and reward the Farmers of the Year, 2019 at the country’s premier agricultural event, the National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS). The competition was held under the theme “Innovations in Technology: Driving a Climate Resilient and Competitive Agriculture and Food Sector.”
Representatives from CARDI, the Pesticide Control Board and Department of Agriculture judged the competition and after two rounds of farm evaluations from across all six districts, Dan Isai Lopez, Ana Eloisa Morales and Christian Eden Salazar Jr were adjudged the winners.
Dan Lopez from San Antonio, Cayo District is the Male Farmer of the Year. Dan farms 60 acres of land – 40 is dedicated to vegetable and fruit farming while the remaining 20 is kept under reserve. According to Dan the reserve along with good agricultural practices are helping him successfully combat some of the ills associated with climate change. The proud father of 2 is happy that he can provide healthy, wholesome meals to his family while positively contributing to his country’s food and nutrition security.
Ana Eloisa Morales who hails from Selena Village in Cayo District is the Female Farmer of the Year. From the 25 acres she farms, Ana grows herbs and spices, bananas, plantains, coconuts and a variety of fruit trees. She also rears Tilapia and is involved in value addition.
The income generated from her operations helps to comfortably sustain her family. Ana also dedicates her time to work with adults and youths on several agronomic outreach programmes in her community.
The Junior Farmer of the Year is Christian Eden Salazar Jr. Christian is 22 years old and rents 12 acres of land in Concepcion Village, Corozal where he grows a range of vegetables including tomatoes, sweet pepper, hot pepper, cucumber, radish, okra and cilantro all using drip irrigation. He also rears chickens for meat and eggs and has plans to get into sheep production.
The NATS was held from 26-28 April 2019, in Belmopan. CARDI is a proud platinum sponsor of this event.