Seedlings in the Nursery
Ya’axché Conservation Trust realizes the importance of sustainability and the ability to continually provide support to local farmers and communities. One way this has been achieved is through the establishment of a plant nursery, which allows the Community Outreach and Livelihoods program to work with farmers to adapt to climate-smart farming practices, such as Inga Alley cropping, cacao agroforestry, as well as backyard gardens with fruit trees. Ya’axché’s 132 x 84 ft nursery, located within Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, in southern Belize, cultivates a variety of native, high quality, organic grafted and non-grafted seedlings. The seedlings propagated include fruit, timber, citrus, and spice species that are disease resistant and fast-growing. This year, the team of professional and trained staff has successfully germinated, transplanted, and monitored 31 varieties of seedlings, which range from cashew and malay apple to mango, coffee, and cacao. The plan is to propagate a total of 10,000 seedlings at the end of the year, and strong progress has been made through the successful propagation of 7,043 seedlings to date, achieving 70% of the set goal. Through gaining knowledge on propagation best practices, bettering the nursery facility, and improving the quality and heartiness of seedlings, this project has a powerful impact. This is due to the selected species of seed, quality soil, soil mixture, and proper pest management.
This year’s increase in seedling production is imperative since it supports schools, farmers, and other communities working together to improve nutrition, protect the environment, and possibly generate income for families. Ya’axché’s nursery supports reforestation efforts by collaborating with individuals or other organizations to supply primary schools, farmers, and communities on a whole with the locally grown seedlings. Thus far, a total of 2,000 seedlings have been distributed in the remote communities and primary schools of Blue Creek, San Lucas, Otoxha, Dolores, Machakil Ha, Conejo, Sunday Wood, and Corazon Creek. Famers from Indian Creek and Silver Creek villages have received support from the nursery, especially through the provisioning of Inga seedlings to improve shade management on farms and fruit trees to increase the variety on their farms. Thus, the nursery plays a vital role in sustainable livelihoods and food sovereignty in the communities of southern Belize. Additionally, the powerful impact of the project is demonstrated by the number of new communities, which Ya’axche doesn’t regularly work, are approaching the team to see how they too can reap the benefits of the nursery. Ya’axché’s humble nursery has proven to be a strong vehicle for the organization to continue supporting local farmers in agroforestry efforts, as well as expand conservation impact by reaching new communities across the southern Belize landscape.
Photos by Ya’axché
Seedlings ready for distribution
School tree planting campaign
Community distribution of seedlings