Thirty small and medium-scale farmers from Region Four (Demerara – Mahaica) on Monday received inputs to boost their productions totaling some $3.3 million.
This was made possible through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under Component Two of the Agriculture Ministry’s Sustainable Agriculture Development Program (SADP).
Under Component 2 of the SADP Project funding was allocated for the strengthening of the ministry’s extension system. This included training of both staff and farmers and the establishment of research and demonstration plots. To assist with the adoption of the new technology promoted by the ministry, a grant incentive program(non-cash) was also designed to support small and medium farmers.
Last June, during a simple handing over exercise at the ministry’s Regent Street office, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha received the items on behalf of the Government of Guyana from IDB’s Country Representative to Guyana Solórzano Salazar.
Farmers also received some of the inputs procured under the project during that exercise.
Through the initiative, some 6,000 farmers from across the Coast will benefit from US $3 million worth of inputs and technical assistance as part of the government’s efforts to boost Guyana’s agriculture sector.
While offering remarks at the exercise, Minister Mustapha said while CARICOM is looking to Guyana to play the leading role as it pertains to agriculture and food production, the government has been working to ensure farmers are equipped to improve and increase production.
“Countries in the Caribbean are looking to Guyana to play that leading role as it relates to agricultural development. As a government, we have to ensure our farmers are equipped with the necessary tools and equipment so that they can produce. Our farmers are very important because they are the ones who will drive the sector. This is why we are making these contributions so that you have the necessary inputs to ramp up production. Our goal is to ensure Guyana becomes a hub for food production and a country capable of producing most if not all of the crops and commodities we import in CARICOM. This is why we’ve been expending large sums of money to develop both our traditional and non-traditional sectors,” he explained.
Minister Mustapha also said that the government was also working to expand the cultivation of commodities like corn, soya, high-value crops, black-eyed peas, and spices like ginger.
“We’ve also been expending large sums of money to develop new crops. Things like corn, soya, high-value crops like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. We are also working to commence large-scale beans production and supply the Caribbean with black-eyed peas. In Region One we are working to ramp up production of spices like ginger and black pepper,” he added.
Both crops and livestock farmers received items which included small land tillers, breeding animals inclusive of cattle, swine, small ruminants, and black giants birds, improved planting materials, farrowing crates, water pumps, nipple drinks, and water systems, drip systems (both tape and hose), pasture fence materials inclusive of wire and posts, shade house materials inclusive of mesh, plastic, and building material, milking machines, threshing machines, plucking machine, plastic mulch, building materials for pen upgrades, weeding machines, incubators, mist blowers, grass chipper, and gestation crates.