Big Falls Rice Mill

One of the most important operations of the BMDC involves the milling of rice paddy in the southernmost district of Belize, Toledo. Milling facilities at the Big Falls village were transferred and fitted in 1977.

Rice cultivation and purchasing of rice paddy in the Toledo district had been carried out by the Belize marketing board since the year 1961, where the operations involved cleaning and drying of paddy and then transferring to Belize City by Boat for milling.

The opening of the mill came as an effort to create jobs provide an alternative livelihood and reduce poverty in the Toledo District. With the milling facilities in place storage facilities with a capacity to store 4 million pounds of paddy were completed in 1979. A modern rice mill, a new dryer and cleaner were installed and the storage capacity of the mill was expanded to hold 8 million pounds of paddy in 2003. Through its milling and marketing operations more than 55 villages in the Toledo and Stann Creek district have benefited from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation rice initiative in the south.

Rice Production in the Toledo and Stann Creek area has benefited from direct assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture which offers high level technical support throughout the production process. With the guidance of the Ministry and its multiple partners rice production in the south is experiencing a highly awaited improvement in the quality of paddy being produced.

Initially only Milpa farmers were present in the south and would make use of the mill, today both Milpa and Mechanized farmers have been delivering paddy to the BMDC mill.