The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of the Upper Takutu – Upper Essequibo (Region Nine) will procure peanut shellers to boost production in the industry.
Regional Chairman, Mr. Bryan Allicock made this announcement during a community engagement in Aranaputa on Saturday. The meeting was led by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall.
The decision followed complaints from farmers about low peanut sales over the years, which have worsened due to the pandemic.
Farmer Carl Abraham said, “95% of us today have peanuts in our homes right now. The problem is that we have not been getting markets for a couple of years now.”
In response, the Regional Chairman explained that Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo instructed the Ministry of Agriculture “to see where they can source these shellers to have them bought and brought to the region.”
The shellers will make the peanuts more marketable since they would be easily processed for other food products, without additional labour costs.
Mr. Allicock added that the Vice President requested that the Regional Executive Officer (REO) report on the amount of farine available in the Region to source markets. To this end, the REO, Mr. Carl Singh, has engaged a prospective investor with assistance from the Guyana Marketing Corporation.
Discussions are also underway for the Government to purchase farine from farmers within the Region to be distributed in hampers.
Minister Dharamlall is currently conducting community consultations with residents across many Amerindian villages in the Region to address their concerns. While some of the issues may soon be remedied, others may have to be addressed through the 2021 Budget. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]