By Tracey Khan Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Agriculture today launched its ‘Eat
What We Produce’ campaign amid observances for World Food Day at the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute (NAREI) with focus on family farming.
Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy said more than 90% of the farms in Guyana are owned and operated by ordinary families; adding that this is driving there agriculture sector in a major way.
The event is being celebrating under the theme: “Family farming-feeding the world caring for the earth.”
The point was made that one Billion people depend on rice for their livelihood and rice farmers ought to be celebrated as the drive the sector to higher heights.
Dr. Oudho Homenauth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NAREI said the institute took the opportunity to showcase its produce and the work it is doing by hosting an ‘open day’ which coincides with today’s event. He added that the institute will continue to promote the campaign ‘eat what we produce’ so that more Guyanese will buy into the idea and make a shift in their lifestyle to eat more healthy and support their own.
Additionally, he said family farming is a tradition in Guyana has passed on from generation to generation. As a result, agriculture contributes to 50% of the employment rate.
The feature address was delivered by Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who said this is a time to celebrate the fact that 100 million less people are starving because of this sector.
He also boasted of the fact that Guyana is food secured with the potential to support other countries in the world and at the same time adequately sustain itself.
However, he acknowledged that most Guyanese are not nutrients secured and urged them to change their eating lifestyle
The Agriculture Minister also spoke of the needs for additional and adjusted policies that are needed to foster growth as well, noting that it contributes to the economy in a “big way”. Agriculture contributes to the economy by 20%.
He also spoke of the late President Forbes Burnham’s policy to eat what we produce and commended it; however, he attributed its failure to the force the late President used to implement it by banning certain commodities. In this regard, he said this new plan by the current People’s Progressive Party Civic administration is working because Government is allowing citizens to choose.