“Improving productivity through participatory methods as tools”
The Sugar Industry Research & Development Institute of Belize (SIRDI) in collaboration with the HERSHEY Company, “Learn to Grow” Program, celebrated the Farmer Field School (FFS) Certificate of Completion Ceremony on September 27, 2017.
Group four of the FFS Program initiated in 2015 with approximately 175 leading farmers enrolled in six groups. Twelve training modules were delivered to a group of enthusiastic famers who were willing to share and learn more on best agronomical practices, to increase productivity through sustainable farming methods.
As in most life situations, every good thing comes to an end. However, the completion of the FFS Training Program marks a new beginning with a change for adopting and implementing better practices. Practices aimed to increase efficiency in sugarcane production, resulting in a positive impact on farmers’ livelihood.
A total of 371 farmers (340 males, 31 females) were awarded with certificates of completion for their success in the Program. The event was one-of-a-kind for the Sugar Cane Industry, as well as for the entire country of Belize. SIRDI is the first institution to adopt and implement such a distinct program – the FFS Program.
The ceremony was celebrated at the SIRDI headquarter, located on Mile 66.5 Philip Goldson Highway. Approximately 500 farmers and invited guests joined in celebrating this major accomplishment and milestone. The ceremony was complemented by St. John’s College student, Mr. Curt Smith, who delighted the audience with the harmonic sounds of his violin while playing the Belizean National Anthem. Mr. Marcos Osorio, SIRDI Director, delivered the welcome address, followed by Ms. Marissa Cervantes, one of our very own female farmers, who highlighted the celebration with her special remarks. Keynote address was delivered via an audiovisual provided by the Hershey Company. Thereafter, a special recognition was prepared in memory of those FFS participants who have parted this life, followed by the issuance of certificates to the Farmer Field School Graduates.
SIRDI would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated, or contributed to the success of the event. These include the three Cane Farmer’s Associations: (BSCFA, CSCPA & PSCPA); ASR Group Belize Sugar; the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB); Ministry of Education; Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); PesticideControl Board (PCB); BELAGRO; Inter American Development Bank (IDB); the Commercial Banks and other invited guests who witnessed the accomplishment of such a milestone.