Mon, Jul 27, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Agriculture mission in Guatemala wins acclaim from locals

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA , PANAMA CITY

Taiwan’s agriculture mission in Guatemala has won acclaim for helping the country improve farming technology and develop small farm projects, diplomatic sources said over the weekend.

The achievements have also attracted the attention of major agricultural research institutions worldwide, the sources said.

Representatives of agricultural research institutes in 12 Latin American countries and Spain visited Taiwan-Guatemala cooperative ventures on Wednesday, including a food processing factory, a dragon fruit orchard and an organic compost site.

Both Max Gonzalez, head of the Guatemalan Institute of Agricultural Science, and Chimaltenango Governor Hector Lopez expressed gratitude for the Taiwanese mission’s outstanding contribution to their country’s agricultural development.

The agricultural mission has two technicians and three diplomatic conscripts in Chimaltenango to teach local farmers about planting crops and food processing.

Meanwhile, Guatamalan Vice Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Gonzalo Ochaeta led a group of senior Guatemalan officials and government advisers on a recent visit to a bamboo arts and crafts teaching center in Cuyuta City, which is also operated by Taiwan’s agriculture mission.

Ochaeta said he was impressed by the accomplishments of agricultural cooperation projects, adding that his department would send staff to the Cuyuta center to learn how to become seed instructors to help spread bamboo arts and crafts to every corner of the country.

The mission promotes bamboo cultivation and crafts and the Cuyuta center has become the best-equipped bamboo arts and crafts teaching center in Central America.

It offers courses on growing bamboo, handicrafts and bamboo-furniture-making technologies as well as bamboo architecture.

Taiwan’s agricultural mission has been using bamboo as the key building material for school classrooms and low-cost housing units in remote regions and for hurricane victims. It has also provided 100,000 bamboo seedlings under a rural development project in cooperation with the Guatemalan Presidential Office.

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