The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) is encouraging farmers interested in exporting their produces to CARICOM countries and further afield to have their farms certified.
Dr. Oudho Homenauth, Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, during a recent interview with the Government information Agency said NAREI has been promoting appropriate and relevant technologies to crop farmers to increase production and productivity of non-traditional crops. This is specifically to enhance food security, increase exports and value addition.
He noted that, “for the export market, there are certain conditions that have be satisfied…one such requirement is farm certification.”
Farm certification is one of the major requirements by Guyana’s Regional trading partners to access their markets. This certification guarantees that the farmer would have produced crops under conditions that satisfy local and international markets.
The National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO), a department within NAREI, is responsible for certifying farms. Quarantine Officers inspect and audit farms for the purposes of seed production, organic crop production and exportation of produces.
All farms within “Pest Free Areas” may be considered for certification since they are located in geographic areas that are known to be free of a particular quarantine pest. For instance, Region Five is known to be free from the Carambola Fruit Fly, while the spread of the Pink Mealy Bug and Papaya Mealy Bug are under official control.
However, certification of farms in “Pest Free Areas” would be dependent on other pests, the level of pesticides used in controlling them, and good agricultural practices. Farms may take a while to be certified owing to the farmer’s ability to implement the necessary systems.
The steps for certification are simple and straight forward. They are:
- Application form obtained from NPPO is completed;
- The farmer and NPPO agree on a date to carry out the first inspection;
- First inspection is done and advise is given;
- Inspections continue until the farmer achieves required standard;
- Report is submitted to NPPO Management Committee recommending certification of farm;
- Once approved, farm is certified for one year and subjected to unannounced inspections;
- And, if unapproved, procedures are repeated from the inspection phase.
Persons desirous for additional information could contact NPPO on telephone #220-5858 or email: email@example.com.