On Thursday, September 6, 2018, a graduation ceremony was held at the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) compound to honor 234 farmers for completing all the Best Practices Modules given by the SIRDI Extension Staff. This Farmer Field School (FFS) program was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)/Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) as a component of the “Creating a Sustainable Sugarcane Industry in Northern Belize” project, implemented by SIRDI.
Under the project, funding was also provided for the drafting and printing of a locally produced sugarcane manual—containing 12 separate modules—outlining the best practices for sugar production. These modules include” Incorporation of Women and Youth in the sugar Industry”, “Environmentally friendly practices”, as well as” harvesting and delivery techniques”. The manual was given to farmers in a timely manner while the farmers were proceeding with activities throughout the crop and harvest and delivery period. This graduation was the 5th cohort in an ongoing SIRDI program with the objective of training farmers to improve their yields and income in order to maintain the sustainability of the sugar industry.
Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB), Gabriel Martinez, in his keynote address encouraged farmers to put into effect all they learned during the two plus years of the program. He also thanked IDB/MIF for the timely support to the Sugar Industry. The farmers were each awarded a certificate of completion. The hope is that they become champions for the program and pass on the information learned to other farmers so that the industry can truly benefit from the knowledge gained.
The ceremony was hosted by SIRDI.
About the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.