Growing coconut and lime trees on degraded land in Belize
Stann Creek District, Belize
About the project:
TexBel is a coconut water and citrus company in Belize that plants commercial-grade fruit trees on degraded land. Founded in 2013, TexBel currently operates three farms in Belize, for a total of 1,214 hectares, and is one of the largest producer of Valencia oranges and White Marsh grapefruits in Belize. It will bring new revenues to farmers and encourage the plantation of millions of hybrid coconut trees, by renovating thousands of hectares of degraded orchards.
Through a coconut and lime intercropped agroforestry model, TexBel is renovating degraded citrus orchards affected by citrus greening, or HLB, disease, a major threat to Belize's rural communities and its important citrus industry. TexBel's innovative model of citrus growing creates resilient systems that more effectively fight off the disease and protect local livelihoods.
Since August 2016, Moringa, an Initiative 20x20 financial partner, has financed the development of TexBel's own processing facility. The investment will enable TexBel to use innovative techniques, like high pressure processing, to export fresh, non-pasteurized and ready-to-drink coconut water, as well as fresh lime. The company benefits from its strategic location and the infrastructure of Belize, which is close to key markets like the United States and Mexico. TexBel produces 80 million limes, 10-12 million coconuts, 10 million pounds of oranges, 4 million pounds of grapefruit, and 420,000 pounds of soursup, making it an industry leader in Belize.
The global coconut water industry is growing quickly and is expected to expand to $2.5 billion by 2024. By becoming the first large-scale coconut water processing facility in Belize, TexBel aims to tap into this booming market. Crucially, Texbel sources coconuts from a significant number of smallholders and deploys an outgrower program, helping local farmers tap into the global coconut water supply chain.