Aug 02, 2008 News
As part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s drive to increase food production, the Grow More caravan will soon be visiting several hinterland communities.
This move is to encourage food production in light of the current global increase in demand for food, and the resulting hike in prices.
The distribution of seeds and planting material to hinterland communities began several weeks ago through the assistance of the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs, and residents will now have the opportunity to interact directly with the Minister of Agriculture and officials from the key agencies coordinating and spearheading the Grow More food campaign.
Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud had indicated that the imminent shift to the hinterland region, which follows visits by the caravan to various locations along the coast, including several Amerindian communities, aims to stimulate greater food security and create opportunities.
Numerous agricultural opportunities exist in Guyana, since the country’s vast expanse of arable land and the abundance of fresh water place it at an advantageous position to become once again the bread basket of the Caribbean, an official of the Agriculture Ministry said.
With this in mind, the ministry is placing emphasis on various initiatives that promote and facilitate agricultural diversification.
One such activity is the production of spices locally targeting hinterland communities, particularly Regions One and Nine.
This will further promote and foster the development of Amerindian communities and their livelihoods. Spices such as black pepper, tumeric (dye), and nutmeg will be grown through germaplasm technique.
Additionally, a rice and peas cultivation project has been established to benefit nine hinterland communities in Regions Eight and Nine.
The overall objective of the project is to increase the food self-sufficiency and incomes, thus improving the livelihood of residents in these communities.
The project will present the opportunity to produce two commodities — rice and beans — normally imported from Brazil and from the coastland of Guyana at relatively high prices.
Transport costs from the coast are relatively competitive to produce from Brazil, thus production at coastal prices will make production in the Rupununi Savannahs competitive and sustainable.
Several communities across Guyana have already been visited by the Grow More caravan, among them Santa Mission, Dora, Kairuni and several other locations in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.
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