The Banana Belt

In southern Stann Creek and northern Toledo District, an area referred to as the Banana Belt, which is made up of 12 small to medium size villages, account for majority of the banana industry workforce. These villages include: Santa Cruz, San Roman, Santa Rosa, Georgetown, San Pablo, Cowpen, San Juan, Bella Vista, Esperanza, San Isidro, Trio, and Bladen. Members from these villages come from all walks of life with an array of traditions and cultures. Belize, so small yet so diverse, is a melting pot of culture.

The community and the banana

Agriculture and the Belize banana industry are interdependent on the other, matching both the health of the economy, peoples’ livelihood and the nutritional needs of its people. As an income earner for many, majority of the surrounding villages are highly dependent on the crop and positively influenced by the industry production.

With a ratio of one person employed for every two acres under production, it is estimated that the industry employs about 3,500 workers, which represents 3% of Belize’s employed labor force and about 30% of the labor force of the Stann Creek District.

Approximately 15,000 persons (men, women and children) or 40% of the population of the Stann Creek District are dependent on a single wage earner from the banana industry to provide for their standard of living including food, housing, clothing, education and health.

The banana industry is without a doubt, a sector that holds great promise for Belize and its development.