HC Deb 16 December 1949 vol 470 cc343-4W

Crop trials

In March a Scheme was made for the development of the Central Farm on the Baking Pot Estate in the Cayo District.

The farm, which has become the head; quarters of the Department of Agriculture, is designed to undertake field studies on the better cultivation and production of the principal food crops. These studies include cocoa trials with selected types. Quite recently I have been informed that good progress has been made with land clearing, the marking out of plots, and the construction of buildings in this area, which hardly more than a year ago was virgin forest.


A rice expert has studied the possibilities of developing this industry and his report, now under consideration, holds out promise of expansion of rice production in a way and on a scale which appear practicable.

Dairy Farming

The Commission recommended the establishment in the Cayo District of a model dairy farm to develop a good dairy herd, undertake pig rearing and poultry keeping, and to demonstrate the growing of fodder crops and the care and improvement of pastures. I have made a scheme under which a livestock officer will be appointed to investigate the possibilities further with a view to making detailed proposals.


A survey is now being carried out for a road from Middlesex to Roaring Creek which will be an important lateral link between the Stann Creek and Cayo Districts.

I should add that the Colonial Development Corporation have interested themselves in a number of the Commission's recommendations in addition to the timber project mentioned above and that they have on their own account organised a certain amount of investigational work.

My general conclusion from the first year's working is that the full scale development of these two Colonies will be both a long and costly process, but it is already clear that the volume of basic information which we must have before heavy commitments are incurred is steadily growing. I am satisfied that the sum of £2 millions which I set aside when the Report was published should fulfil the main need for which it was designed, namely of enabling preliminary investigations to take place unhampered by lack of money.