European Unions’ Belize Rural Development Project II

On March 21, 2012, Belize Botanic Gardens received funding from the European Union’s Belize Rural Development Project II (BRDP II) to undertake a Professional Gardeners’ Training Program. Funding is administered by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and BBG’s partner duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge.

The Title of the action under this grant is, “Improving the Quality of Life of Rural Household by developing Capacity to find an create employment in gardening and other plant related areas”, has the overall objective of teaching underemployed and unemployed men and women the skills necessary to earn a living as employees or small business owners in these areas. Research shows that job opportunities requiring these skills exist in both the business and private sectors, particularly in the tourism industry.

As a member of Caribbean Botanic Gardens for Conservation, we became aware of the need for a center for horticulture training, not only in Belize, but throughout the Caribbean. Receiving BRDP Funding has enabled us to pursue this goal on a local level by offering a wide range of classes through our Professional Gardeners’ Program. For the term of the 34-month EU project free classes are being offered to Belizeans. To sustain the program after completion of the funding term, classes will be opened to international students as well.

Course offerings include three levels of horticulture training; small nursery establishment for ornamental plants; small nursery establishment for food plants; cut flower growing and marketing  as well as a variety of 1-day workshops such as seed saving, floral arrangement and culinary herbs. Classes last 10 days for each level and will be offered eight times during the term of the project. In addition, there are On-The-Job training opportunities of 12 weeks for 2 trainees per session. All courses will be offered 12 times during the funding period.

We are targeting interested individuals, male or female, who are unemployed or barely employed but have deep interest in becoming professional gardeners. After completion of the training program participants are being awarded with a Certificate of Completion and Job Recommendation Letter.

More than ever professional gardeners are in great need throughout Belize. The tourism industry alone employ’s groundskeepers, landscape managers, designers, and gardeners and the need for professional trained and skilled workers is growing every day.

The Professional Gardener’s Training will also help you learn the skills necessary for starting your own landscape related business in Belize whether it’s a plant nursery establishment or landscape installation and maintenance company.

Contact our office for information about these training and how to enroll in the Professional Gardeners’ Training Program

Belize Botanic Gardens would like to thank the Government of Belize, European Union’s Belize Rural Development Project and its partner, duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge for the initial funding of the project to undertake the action “Improving the Quality of Life of Rural Household by developing Capacity to find an create employment in gardening and other plant related areas”.

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