Agriculture Month 2016 activities to place emphasis on small, medium scale farmers

The agriculture month 2016 Calendar of Activities will not only focus on the resuscitation of the agricultural sector to increase efficiency, but will target the advancement of small and medium scale farmers across the ten administrative regions. This will be done through a number of community outreach programs and project initiatives across Guyana.

During the month long activities emphasis will be placed on sensitizing both small and medium scale farmers on the services offered by the various agriculture agencies such as the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Hydromet Department among others.

Farmers will also be given the opportunity to receive technical support from extension officers present during these outreach activities. One of the major activities that will target farmers is the Carambola Fruit flu sensitization workshop in Lethem. Recently, more than 3,600 baits were placed on fruit trees in Mahdia and surrounding communities in Region Eight, as NAREI took steps to eliminate the fruit fly. The fruit fly is a major hindrance to production and productivity and Ministry has been working to ensure that this becomes a thing of the past through frequent surveillance and the implementation of treatment programs.

In addition, the Hydromet Department of the Ministry of Agriculture will move to have commissioned a Climatological Station in the compounds of the Guyana School of Agriculture which will increase efforts in furthering advance the country’s climatological capacity. There will also be National Climate Forum where experts in the fields of meteorology and climate advances will be delivering a number of presentations on the importance of real time prediction.

Emphasis will also be placed on increasing yield for cash crop farmers through a number of demonstration plot and sensitisation workshops. These workshops will be conducted by NAREI and will take place in communities like Better Hope, Region 9, Watooka- Region 10, Hosororo-Region 1, Woodley Park-Region 5 and Hague Backdam in Region 3.

The aim of the demonstration plot and workshop activities is to build awareness among farmers on the techniques which can be used to significantly increase yields while adopting to best practices.

Meanwhile, the GLDA will also be carrying out a number of ambulatory services with the aim of monitoring and improving the health of the small ruminants and cattle across the country. Some communities to benefit from these services are Anna Regina – Region 2, Den Amstel – Region 3, Onverwagt – Region 5 and New Amsterdam in Region 6.

The Fisheries Department will be undertaking a number of outreach programs and open days with the aim of bringing awareness to the tremendous work done by the Ministry to further enhance the sector. Additionally, during the various outreach exercise, fishermen will be sensitized on laws that govern the fishing industry and why it is important to obey closed season regulations.

This year’s focus will see emphasis being placed on farmers in the Ten Administrative regions as government aims to ramp up its efforts at transforming Guyana’s Agriculture development trajectory.

The agriculture sector remains the most powerful social and economic tool to eliminate poverty and hunger, and generate wealth. With continuous work being done to have a successful diversification program across the sector and increase agricultural operations in the Hinterland Region, agriculture in Guyana is set to develop massively.

These initiatives were developed as the Government of Guyana saw the need to move Guyana’s agricultural base to the Hinterland given the growing threats of climate change. The challenges of climate change impacts heavily on the nation’s plans for the development of our agricultural sector.

Guyana’s agriculture is primarily concentrated on the coast and the potential for agricultural development in the hinterland regions is known. The Government of Guyana’s 2015 Manifesto has indicated development of the hinterland as a priority, with implementation of policies for development of the Intermediate Savannahs, as well as the Rupununi Savannahs. The Intermediate Savannahs have long been considered as the next frontier for the nation’s agricultural development.

In this vein, the Ministry of Agriculture has aligned its work programme to realise the Intermediate Savannahs as the next agricultural center, and has also prioritized the implementation of policies for development of the Rupununi Savannahs.

This year Agriculture Month which will be held under the theme, “Exploring new production frontiers: in pursuit of climate resilience” will see all Regions of Guyana benefiting from a host of activities aimed at further developing the sector. The Ministry will be working along with other partners and communities to ensure best practices are adopted by farmers.