Berbice to get GSA branch

-agriculture extension officers for Black Bush Polder

The Ministry of Agriculture is expanding its services in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) with plans to open a branch of the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) and to dispatch a full complement of agriculture extension officers to assist farmers at Black Bush Polder, Corentyne.

Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha made these announcements during a joint outreach to the region with Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall on Friday. 

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha

“As soon as the Board of Directors is formed very shortly, I will task that new Board to establish a branch of the Guyana School of Agriculture, so that we can have Berbicians benefitting from the same tertiary education that those in Georgetown and other parts of the country benefit from” MinisterMustapha said.

Former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Dindial Permaul is expected to Chair the GSA’s Board of Directors.

Minister Mustapha said a large percentage of the Berbice population is involved in agriculture, which has resulted in the need for more opportunities for higher education to be created.  

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Anil Nandlall, during engagement with residents of Black Bush Polder.

“Agriculture must not be seen as a minimal activity where someone does it as part-time. We must also end the perception that these kinds of exercise are for persons who dropped out of school. We are now doing agriculture in a more scientific way,” Minister Mustapha said.  

The Minister also revealed that consideration is being given to establishing the School at the John’s University of Guyana Campus, which already has a Faculty of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, Minister Nandlall said urgent attention will be given to farming issues.

A section of the engagement with Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha and Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Anil Nandlall at Black Bush Polder.

“We don’t target one particular group of people, but out farmers are very important and we have to ensure that they enjoy the best of facilities, and have ready and cheap access to land,” he said.

Residents also seized the opportunity provided by the visit to voice concerns about a range of matters affecting them. 

Head Teacher at the Mibicuri Primary School, Ms. Natasha Loo petitioned for better roads while Johanna resident Ms. Renita Joseph asked for more educational and sport opportunities for youth. Ms. Joseph also asked for land filling and improved infrastructural works at the Johanna Primary School.

While the Ministers dealt with several issues on the spot, they pointed out that it was impossible to address all concerns at a single meeting. However, they said the Government is committed to continued engagement with the people to come up with solutions.

Regional Chairman Mr. Permaul Armogan also attended the meeting, which came soon after a visit by Minister Mustapha three weeks ago. 

Additionally, the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission’s office in the region is also set to reopen soon.  The office had ceased operations due to COVID-19.