Circular Economy in the heart of Belize

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SilkGrass Farms: Transforming Agriculture in Southern Belize through Vertical Integration and Sustainable Practices

SilkGrass Farms is a vertically integrated agribusiness in Southern Belize committed to reimagining the way food is grown and processed for the better.

Founded in 2019 by Mandy Cabot, Peter Kellerop, and Henry Canton, SilkGrass Farms isn’t merely an agribusiness, it’s a testament to the preservation of Belize’s natural environment. As a certified B Corporation, they’re dedicated to benefiting both people and the planet while generating prosperity for surrounding communities.

With 9,000 acres of farmland and the 26,000-acre Silk Grass Wildlife Preserve, SilkGrass Farms is devoted to supporting local communities while nurturing the land and its inhabitants. From coconuts to citrus fruits, cacao to avocados, and pineapples to a myriad of other crops, diversity thrives within their farm’s borders.

Their commitment to sustainability extends beyond cultivation. Housed within their state-of-the-art 130,000 square-foot factory, they produce a wide range of products, from food to personal care items and soil enhancements.

Their founders envisioned a new kind of agribusiness, embracing a circular model that not only benefits the environment and wildlife but also the Belizean communities that call this land home. Education, innovation, and leadership are integral to their mission as they strive to pioneer regenerative agricultural practices.

Their journey towards sustainability extends from a solar panel park set to produce enough electricity to power 8,000 homes, equivalent to 7% of Belize’s households, to repurposing waste into solutions like planting media.

In 2023, they signed a contract for a 3-train ARTi Pyrolysis reactor, which will soon transform agricultural and manufacturing waste into valuable biochar, enriching their soils and sequestering carbon in the process.

Beyond individual success stories, SilkGrass Farms embodies a commitment to positive change in the environment and the Belizean community.

Biochar made on site could offer a chance for new uses for residual biomass generated from the company’s farming that would otherwise be wasted. When the biomass can be transformed into biochar onsight this cuts down on transportation costs and emissions. Plus biochar can aid in the farm soils and sequester carbon. Although the soils of southern Belize are varied, tropical soils predominate there. Soils in the area are a mixture of sandy, loamy, and clayey types. Certain places have more nutrient-rich soil than others, and the fertility of the soil can differ. The region’s importance in agriculture, which includes the growing of citrus and bananas, suggests that the soil is suitable for growing particular crops.  

Biochar, a high-surface area material, could improve soil health in southern Belize by retaining nutrients, enhancing water retention, promoting microbial activity, adjusting soil pH, and potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Its high surface area helps prevent leaching in tropical soils, while its water-holding capacity aids plant access during dry periods. 

Silk Grass Farms combines agriculture with land stewardship and conservation to create a sustainable model for Belize. 

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