Government has announced that it intends to push agriculture development in the hinterland and intends to open up 4,000 acres of State lands in Region Nine as part of a menu of measures to make this possible.
According to a GINA statement, the venture is experimental, and will be used for sustainable harvesting of surface water for agriculture in the Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo region. The land will be used for raising small ruminants and cattle, and for rice and vegetable cultivation. Aquaculture is expected to be done as well. This was revealed during the presentation of the 2016 National Budget by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan.
Meanwhile, over $598M has been allocated to enhance diversified agriculture in the intermediate and Rupununi savannahs. Riverine areas are also slated to benefit.
According to Jordan, diversification is being pursued as it is expected to make the agricultural sector more resilient to economic shocks. “Several training, research and extension facilities in Hosororo, Ebini and Bina Hill among others are proposed. This will promote sustainable food production systems that can help maintain the ecosystem and strengthen the capacity for adaptation to climate change, drought, flooding and other disasters,” the minister disclosed.
In total, $20.3B has been allocated to the agricultural sector to create an economic environment in which farming and agro-processing operations can grow the economy and create employment.