The Ministry of Agriculture will be embarking on several projects during the second half of the year, including quite a few interventions in the Ebini area, Region 10.
These include the construction of a plant nursery and bridges, rehabilitation of staff quarters, and the expansion of orchard crop production by an additional 10 acres to serve as a model for the potential investors in the savannahs.
Two Agriculture Extension Officers will also be permanently placed in this Region to support agriculture development.
Ebini is currently a priority area for agricultural development. A Brazilian firm, New Frontier Agriculture Incorporated (NFAI) has already cultivated 2500 acres of soy bean. The firm has been granted additional lands to farm corn, soy bean and to rear cattle. It will begin cultivation shortly, on the additional lands.
Also the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) had held public tendering for the rehabilitation of the access road to the Ebini Agriculture Station, along with the construction of three timber bridges and the installation of High-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) culverts to an estimated cost of $42.8M. This project is currently ongoing.
These projects are in keeping with government’s quest for agricultural diversification, and will not only provide greater and easier access to the site, but also boost production and commercial activities in the area.
Additionally, in the fisheries sub-sector, measures are in place to ensure that sustainable harvesting practices are applied and conflicts are reduced among the different gear types and vessels. The Seabob Working Group (SWG) has been ensuring that all is in place for the assessment to begin for the Marine Stewardship Certification (MSC). A Seabob Management Plan and Code of Conduct were also completed, and will be submitted to Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) shortly for external review.
The Ministry of Agriculture has identified an agricultural development project in the hinterland and has also engaged donors and investors with respect to several initiatives in the Intermediate and Rupununi Savannahs. This project is still in its concept phase as the discussions continue. It is expected to include the construction of an agriculture station and cater for the revitalisation of the dairy industry, with the aim of enhancing food security.
Further, preliminary studies in the area of the sustainable harvesting of surface water for agriculture purposes in Region Nine were completed and a detailed survey will follow.