Students from Georgetown and East Coast Demerara schools, today, benefitted from open day activities held at the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station.
In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Head of NAREI, Dr. Oudho Homenauth said the activities; though organized as part of the activities for Agriculture Month, were intended to expose the public and students in particular, to the work of the various entities.
“They might be reading about it, especially from doing their School Based Assessments (SBAs) and whatever, but we want them to have the practical side of it. To actually see demonstrations being done and the actual structures and systems that are in operation,” Dr. Homenauth explained.
At NAREI, demonstrations included both field and laboratory activities which the agency conducts in the execution of its mandate to aid in the development of sustainable agriculture.
Detailing some of the exhibits on display, Dr. Homenauth said the agency is continuously working on the development of solutions to common, local agricultural problems and is happy to expose students to the new methods and the benefits they bring to the farming community.
“You’ll see for example the demonstration on the management of acushi ants. We have been talking about how we intend to, in the long term, control the red palm mite fly using natural enemies instead of the use of chemicals alone. Since seeing is believing, they actually see the work being done,” Homenauth said.
Further, Dr. Homenauth stressed the importance of science in agriculture and said open day activities were also designed with this in mind. He is of the view that students must be able to have a practical experience of science in agriculture.
“So for agriculture they must also know that they need a background in science as well because it is science that runs agriculture anyway. Most of what we do here is science based and that is what we want the young people to become familiar with,” The CEO encouraged.
Over at the Satyadeo Sawh Aquaculture Station students and teachers were treated to a guided tour and discussions on the importance of acquaculture in providing a reliable source of fish protein given the reduction in the country’s oceanic fish stock.
Among the species displayed were the Tambaki, a fresh water fish native to neighbouring Brazil, the Jamaican red tilapia, the grey tilapia, the Arapaima, Basha and other local fish species.
Students were exposed to information on methods of cultivating fish stock, harvesting fish and the preservation of fish and fish products for export.
Open day activities were also held at the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA).
Agriculture month is observed in Guyana during the Month of October. This year’s observances will see several activities being held across the regions to promote agricultural awareness.