Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology

Advisor

Graham, Donna L.

Reader

Popp, Jennie

Second Reader

Farmer, Amy L.

Third Reader

Edgar, Don

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe agricultural information sources available to farmers and to describe food access and availability for the people of Dangriga, Stann Creek, Belize. This study used descriptive survey research methods with convenience sampling of the general public (n=22) and of farmers (n = 38) in the summer of 2017. Farmers use a variety of agricultural information sources with the extension service cited most often, followed by friends and fellow farmers. Weather, lack of information, pests, and inadequate access to capital were of primary concern for farmers. Face to face meetings were used most often by extension officers for disseminating agricultural information. Smallholder farmers and the general public have very similar levels of food access and availability. Using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale, developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), minimaldifference was foundbetween what the smallholder farmers and the general public selected for household food consumption. Both groups reported mild food insecurity, while a few individual respondents reported severe food insecurity. Recommendations of the study focused on practical operational strategies for the local Department of Agriculture, as well as the Belize Ministry of Agriculture. Additionally, development experts and nutrition specialists should review the results and findings and identify what can be done to further eradicate hungerand increase overall food access and availability throughout Belize.

Keywords

Agriculture, Food Security, Communication, Extension, Education, Belize

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