Nov 17, 2013 News
– expected to reduce farmers’ expense
A state of the art Soil Testing Laboratory which is expected to enhance agronomic practices in Guyana is likely to be ready in a matter of six months.
This is according to the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, who said that such a move is necessary since it will not only significantly reduce the cost to farmers, but also allow the sector to be more effective.
The development of this “comprehensive soil laboratory” is being done in partnership with several agencies which fall under the Agriculture Ministry.
These include the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary/Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA), the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Fisheries Department and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA).
It was noted that the lab is necessary, since Guyana is a country which depends highly on the Agriculture industry. It was also highlighted that presently the Agriculture Industry contributes 23 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr. Ramsammy said that soil analysis is a valuable tool for farms, as it determines the input required for efficient and economic production. Soil tests help to ensure application of enough fertilizer to meet the requirements of the respective crop, while taking advantage of the nutrients already present in the soil.
He added that GuySuCo can only perform limited soil tests at the moment, and that the lab, when completed, will have the capacity to analyze various soil samples which, prior, has to be sent to Miami.
The soil laboratory is expected to eliminate the need for sending samples overseas. The inclusion of the laboratory will significantly reduce the cost farmers endure to have a proper soil test carried out. A Technical Management Committee will also be established with representatives from the respective agencies to manage the lab.
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