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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth said this year’s emphasis will be placed on taking the mangrove restoration project to Region Two.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth

Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Dr. Homenauth explained that work will continue on the coast, but more emphasis will be placed on Aberdeen, Region Two.

“We will be doing a geotextile structure like what we have at Victoria, and a brushwood dam in Region Two together with spartina grass planting. Spartina grass is being exported from the East Coast to Essequibo in the areas where the structures would have been established at Lima and Walton Hall,” Dr. Homenauth noted.

Dr. Homenauth told GINA that there is a build-up of sediments in those areas, and it is causing natural re-vegetation where the spartina grass was planted. He added that the grass re-colonises, traps the mangrove seeds and, “you end up with natural regeneration so with the structures there, is definitely helping, and it means you don’t have to plant with the natural vegetation.”

According to the CEO, over $40M was allocated for financing the mangrove management/restoration and NAREI will use the funds for planting, monitoring and creating structures.

Dr. Homenauth pointed out that one of the limitations with the project is that there are not enough sites for replanting. However, the agency was able to establish breakwater structures involving different types of groins, geotextile, and brushwood and rubble mound.

“The mangrove management/restoration project has been an integral component of our work programme. In 2016, brushwood groins were constructed at Walton Hall and Lusignan and 5000 mangrove seedlings were also planted at Better Hope. We also have a local student who is going to some of the sites established to look at the changes made in organic matter and a host of other properties,” he explained.

Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder during his 2017 budget speech lauded the performance of the mangrove management/restoration project in 2016, noting that it contributed to the overall performance of the agriculture sector, and will continue to do so.

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