GMC forges partnership with Mocha/Arcadia farmers

Farmers of Mocha Arcadia are set to benefit from series of training sessions through the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) during the course of 2017. This will be made possible through an agro-processing, agricultural development loan offered to four communities by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Recently, villagers, at a one-day session held at the Mocha Primary School, benefitted from demonstrations by the corporation’s Market Information Centre, based on the use of the Agriculture Marketing Information System (AMIS), and the TEXT1010 short messaging service. They were also apprised of the importance of the New Guyana Shop, the services offered by the Packaging Facilities, and also benefitted from relevant information including market prices and export data.

The objective of the meeting was to sensitize the villagers of the services that are being offered by the GMC. These include provision of guidance in relation to agriculture business development, where assistance is given to assist agro-processors and potential agro-processors in transforming their business ideas to reality, or to improve the current levels of their businesses.

Residents and farmers of Mocha Arcadia, East Bank demerara

Residents and farmers of Mocha Arcadia, East Bank Demerara

The agency also assists farmers, exporters and other important stakeholders within the non-traditional agricultural sector through the provision of technical advice in sourcing buyers for their produce and facilitating logistical arrangements for exports.

The TEXT1010 short messaging service serves as a valuable tool to guide buyers and sellers when lobbying for prices.  It gives information on the wholesale and retail prices for fruits and vegetables from local and regional markets; namely in Barbados and Trinidad.

Discussions were also centered on the need for a more business-oriented approach to farming. This is where the GMC focused extensively on engaging Mocha/Arcadia farmers. This is part of an arrangement that was formalised in December 2016 between the CDB and the GMC, through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Current farming practices and agro-processing opportunities will be two of the areas that will be explored in this community with funding for the Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development (RAID) in Small Scale Farming project communities in Regions Four and Five.

Farmers were therefore encouraged to have the necessary soil tests done to ascertain the types of crops that are most suitable to be cultivated on farmlands in the community.

Chairman of the Mocha/Arcadia Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Rudolph Adams underscored the need for farmers to be receptive to the assistance which is being rendered by various government and non-governmental agencies, noting that these funding can only serve to improve the livelihoods of the farmers.

General Manager of the GMC, Ida Sealey-Adams encouraged farmers to form farmers’ groups or associations. The General Manager explained that these groups or associations have the advantage of maintaining markets, pushing the members to have consistency in supply as against an individual approach.

At the end of the one-day session, farmers voiced their interests in benefiting from all training opportunities offered by the new GMC.