Belize, the smallest of three CARICOM mainland countries, lies on the Caribbean coast of the Central American uppermost isthmian portion of the land bridge from North America to South America. Its agriculture sector has and continues to be a mainstay of the Belizean economy, with the sector comprised; a well-integrated large-scale commercial sector, traditional small scale farms and the traditional export sector for the commodity items of sugar, banana, and citrus. As mirrored across the region, there has been a shift into non-traditional agriculture which includes commodities such as hot peppers and papaya. Despite the diversity which pertains within the Belizean agriculture sector, it is challenged by emerging issues such as; global trade dynamics, natural resource management, food safety demands, youth and gender and more so, challenges surrounding climate change.
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Strategic Plan 2018-2022
CARDI aims, during the strategic period 2018 – 2022, to make critical interventions with respect to these cross cutting issues as they impede sectoral growth and hinder agri-industry development. It will bring to bear, climate smart agriculture practices and technologies which seek to make agriculture more resilient to the vagaries of climate change and its negative impacts. Food safety is also of paramount importance and this will be highlighted within specific commodity’s such as coconuts but also in a cross cutting sense for all commodity items through the derivation of acceptable standards. A youth and gender approach will encompass all initiatives undertaken as attention will be given to the sustainability and succession planning within the agriculture sector and the need for fairness and equitable opportunity for all. Similarly, specific consideration will be given to communities such as the Garifuna Community with emphasis on adding value to Cassava, a commodity with cultural significance and the Mennonite Community who have and will continue to be strategic partners. Belize also has a key role in disaster relief services to the region by virtue of its ability to produce large quantities of seed material to allow countries to quickly resuscitate their agriculture sectors in the shortest time possible. With respect to industry development, CARDI also
envisions Belize as offering a unique opportunity as a gateway to Central America; to forge relationships with prospective stakeholders, initiate linkages with research bodies and identify market opportunities for Caribbean Agri-Products. It is for this reason that a Hispanic CARDI representative was chosen for Belize, in keeping with this strategy of continued integration.
Download CARDI STRATEGIC PLAN 2018- 2022
Omaira Avila Rostant
CARDI Representative / Biotechnologist
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI)
P.O. Box 2 Belmopan
Telephone: (501) 824-2934 / (501) 824-2936
Office cell number: (501) 615-4903