November 27, 2007 The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) announces the successful completion of a one year project entitled Garden-based Agriculture for Toledo’s Environment implemented by Plenty Belize. The project commenced on August 21st, 2006 and was completed on October 23rd, 2007.
The cost of the project, a total sum of $49,086.00 BZE, was funded under PACT’s Small Grant Programme with the main objectives being to protect, maintain and increase the knowledge of the local communities about the biodiversity of species in and around Aguacaliente Wildlife Sanctuary and to educate them of its value and the actions they can take to protect systems and ecosystems, including non-toxic, natural pest control.
Four primary schools in the villages of San Antonio, San Pedro Columbia, Big Falls and San Marcos in the Toledo District participated in this project. Each school developed and maintained gardens, using organic agricultural techniques and utilizing the produce to support their school feeding programs which in turn alleviated malnutrition by making a nutritious supply of fresh food available to over 2,000 students in the four communities. While doing so the students learned to produce vegetables and fruits for home and market with the least amount of impact on the environment.
The Project was successfully implemented. Each of the four schools reaped the benefits of having an organic school gardens and as a result have their own organic gardens at their homes. According to Mr. Mark Miller, Executive Director of PLENTY Belize, there are approximately 55 organic home gardens within the 7 surrounding communities which is as a result of information sharing among community members.
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust congratulates PLENTY Belize for successfully implementing the organic garden based project and for championing the cause for sustainable organic farming techniques in the Toledo District.
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is a fund dedicated to providing assistance for the conservation of Belizeís protected areas and wildlife species. For more information contact the Grants Programme Department at phone (501) 822-3637 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.pactbelize.org.