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― growers would be allowed to plant a specialty crop, and any excess from the required contract can be sold off on local markets or other buyers, provided the contract is honoured

(DPI)

Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder has encouraged farmers in Speightland in Region 10, to start gearing towards contracted farming through the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), to be able to guarantee their prices and markets.

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The Agriculture Minister was at the time responding to questions raised at a community meeting in the area.

“We really want to get farmers involved with contract farming… What we’d like to do is say to you as a corporation, what we want from you is so many tons of pumpkin every three months, or whatever it is, and then they’ll contract, you have a contract with them, they’ll come to your farm and collect it.”

The minister highlighted that this could be a great way to combat the current planting practices of farmers across Guyana. As it is now, farmers plant to reflect market demands, however, this leads to an overabundance of one commodity while others become scarce and then the farmers plant the newly scarce commodity and so the cycle continues.

Minister Holder explained that with the contracted farming, growers would be allowed to plant a specialty crop, and any excess from the required contract can be sold off on local markets or other buyers, provided the contract is honoured.

“A contract goes two ways, You may agree to sell for $50 because the market is at $30, but then prices raise to $60, $70, you can’t now turn back and say, price gone up, so I am not giving you my pumpkin because then you destroy a possible export market created.”

Farmers of the community were also assured that the GMC, the Ministry of Agriculture, and all its organs are ready to assist. However, they first need to know the needs of the farmers, and would be happy if the farmers would be willing to plant towards their established export markets, and come on board with contract farming.

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A section of the residents gathered to speak with the minister.

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