[www.inewsguyana.com] – Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has announced that the first shipment of 5000 tonnes fertilizers arrived on Monday October 7 and is presently at the Friendship Wharf, East Bank Demerara.
This move will significantly boost the agricultural sector, as it will address the cost of production for agricultural products. The fertilizer shipment is as a result of an agreement between the Governments of Guyana and Venezuela. This agreement paves the way for Guyana to receive 5,000 tonnes fertilizers in two phases. The second is expected to arrive in March 2014.
Farmers have over the years been faced with the challenge of high prices for fertilizers, a constraint which affected not only their trade but the high price for agricultural commodities.
“Government has invested much in Agriculture but we do have some constraints, one of which is how to deal with the issue of the high price of sourcing fertilizers and pesticides not only in the direct use of these things to improve production and yields but also from the perspective of ensuring sustainable environmental practices”, Minister Ramsammy said.
Presently the high cost of fertilizer has been significantly impacting the affordability of food in the region and as such, Government has looked to have the situation remedied, hence the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with Venezeula.
“The affordability off producing food, the affordability of procuring food, we have all been making some very special efforts….Guyana signed an agreement with President Chavez and over the last weeks with President Maduro was the first step in this process.”
The Agriculture Ministry, Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), and the Rice Producers’ Association (RPA), will be working collaboratively to develop a programme whereby farmers can have access to the fertilizer at $5000 per bag as compared to the price presently paid at some $7-10,000. Small scale farmers will be the first to benefit from this venture.