25 Caye Caulker residents’ complete sea salt production and seaweed farming training
Friday, January 28th, 2022
On Wednesday, January 26th, a group of 25 Hicaqueños celebrated their completion of a diversification training, helping them with the skills to utilize the island’s resources for sustainable livelihoods such as the production of sea salt and seaweed cultivation. The program was made possible through the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Caye Caulker’s Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) chapter.
The capacity-building training had a reported cost of US$25,000. The Taiwanese Government commissioned it via the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize with Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, and Immigration support.
The project, approved by the Ministry of the Blue Economy, concluded on Wednesday. Project Coordinator and Caye Caulker’s BTIA Deputy Chair Celina Jimenez indicated it was a total success. According to her, the group of 25 participants, primarily women, took introduction lessons about the Blue Economy, salt creation, smart farming, pricing of products, packaging, and labeling of products. Jimenez mentioned that a team from Placencia in southern Belize, experienced in seaweed farming, helped in the training.
One successful participant is the 2021 Fisherwoman of the Year, Maria Allen. Allen fishes for stone crab and lobster. She said a third income source via seaweed farming would provide a more sustainable living. Allen sees this type of farming as beneficial for fisher-folks because the seaweed will provide a nursing home for juvenile fish and lobster.
Minister of the Blue Economy, Honourable Andre Perez, attended the event and pointed out that the project indicates his ministry’s commitment to inclusion, innovation, and empowerment of women and men. “I take this opportunity to thank our ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for providing the necessary support for making this initiative a reality. Thanks to this support and collaboration, the men and women of Caye Caulker are in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities provided by our blue space in Belize,” said Perez.
Taiwanese Ambassador David Kuan-chou Chien was pleased to attend the closing ceremony. He committed to strengthening the bilateral cooperation between Taiwan and Belize and equipping more Belizean women with living skills and business capacity to achieve the goal of economic independence.
This initiative started in early December 2021. It was to encourage women and youth in entrepreneurship through a project called Enhancing the Economic Empowerment of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in the COVID-19 post-pandemic era.
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