The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) will be lending its support to Amazon Caribbean Guyana Ltd, better known as AMCAR, in its new venture to expand the non-traditional crop sector, principally in Berbice.
The company plans to invest US$2M in developing a 500-acre organic farm there for açaí and processed mixed fruits (pineapples, mangoes, watermelons and papaws) in glass jars for export. The company also plans on expanding its factory in Rosignol to accommodate the increased production.
Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr. Oudho Homenauth and a team recently met with Mr. J. Denys Bourque, AMCAR’s Project Manager at NAREI, Mon Repos. AMCAR is seeking the Institute’s expertise, advice and technical assistance on a variety of items including the selection of cultivars; the availability and supply of planting materials of different varieties of the selected fruits; soil improvement and water management; and organic farming practices.
Core to AMCAR’s operations is organic farming, which the company has been actively promoting. This is also an area of interest for NAREI.
Dr. Homenauth has confirmed NAREI’s readiness to closely support the company in this newest venture. As part of this collaboration, the Institute would provide advice and collect data on land preparation, pest management using neem (Azadirachta indica), a tree reputed for its insecticidal properties, organic fertilisation using compost, recedia and nitrogen-fixing trees, among which Glericidia sepium, and yields. NAREI’s support will be an additional benefit to the company in the organic certification process.
For the first phase of the venture, which is underway, the company is developing 100 acres of land, 30 kilometres upriver from Rosignol, Region Five. Up to 30 sustainable livelihood opportunities will result, on the farm, in its factory in Rosignol and in services. At the factory, two new production lines will be installed, one for acai, and the other for mixed fruits, mostly for the European markets.
Amazon Caribbean Guyana Ltd was founded in 1987. It operates a second factory in Barima-Waini, where it is processing organic heart of palm, also for export. In total, the company provides sustainable livelihood opportunities to some 1500 persons from various communities in the areas in which it operates.