The Nago Bank cooperative prepares its onions for the market

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Posted: Monday, May 23, 2022. 9:25 a.m. CST.

Photo credit: MAFSE

By Ruben Morales Iglesias: Lately, Nago Bank has been in the headlines because of the three-mile road the government is going to build for farmers to have easier access to their markets to sell their produce.

But while all this is happening, Los Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos (Small Farmers and Ranchers) of Nago Bank Co-operative Society Limited are busy tending to their onion harvest.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE) posted on social media of members of the Nago Bank cooperative preparing their produce for market.

“Just another day sorting onions in Nagobank, Belize District…Los Pequeños Agricultores y Ganaderos from Nagobank are working hard to make sure there are onions available for the market. Notice they make great use of their onion sorter,” MAFSE said.

“While some of us are taking restful sleep late on Sundays, farmers are working hard to ensure we have food for the table…” MAFSE said.

The Nago Bank Road Improvement Project announced on Thursday will improve three miles of the Nago Bank Road. The government said it signed a BZ$1,734,102.34 contract on May 9, 2022 with Teichroeb & Sons Limited to do the work.

“Along with Maskall and Bomba, the Nago Bank area serves as a ‘vegetable basket’ for the Belize District and elsewhere; therefore, adequate road access is crucial for food security as it ensures that farmers can bring their produce to market all year round,” said the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise (MAFSE ).

According to MAFSE, the Nago Bank Road Improvement Project is an initiative of the six-year Resilient Rural Belize (RRB) program. The RRB programme, worth BZ$40 million, helps micro, small and medium-sized farmers develop climate-resilient practices, increase and diversify their agricultural production and facilitate access to markets by improving their roads.

The RRB program is implemented by the Government of Belize with funding from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and participating grantees, MAFSE said.

Through a matching grant agreement, the RRB program is also supporting the Nago Bank Cooperative to construct a water supply facility, storage/packaging shed and climate-friendly irrigation tools. This helps the cooperative to better organize itself in order to meet its financial needs.

But, according to MAFSE, Nago Bank is just one of 30 farming communities in Belize that will receive similar assistance under the RRB scheme.

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