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During a recent visit to the villages of Orealla and Siparuta in the Corentyne River, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha announced that the villages will soon benefit from a resident agriculture extension officer.

Minister Mustapha was at the time meeting with residents from the community, who informed him that they are in desperate need for an extension officer to be stationed in the village. The subject Minister instructed the head of the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth to work with the villagers to identify and train someone appropriate for the position.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha while addressing the gathering at Orealla

In addition to having an extension officer, Minister Mustapha also committed to assisting farmers with the development of other agricultural activities in the villages.

Raymond Hermond, a 56-year-old farmer from Orealla said that even though the village is small, they have a great interest in agriculture and would appreciate some assistance from Government.

“Mr. Minister, we would like some assistance with materials to develop a pasture for our animals and some sort of extension service here so that our animals can be vaccinated. We also want to have some of the Black Giants to become self-sufficient in poultry,” Mr. Hermond said.

The subject Minister told the farmers that they will soon benefit from the Black Giant poultry programme, among other things.

A section of the meeting at Orealla

“Based on the requests made here, in addition to having an extension officer stationed here, I will have an officer from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) visit you to assist with getting you involved in the Black Giant Poultry programme. We will also work with the Regional Office to get some materials to assist you with fencing an area for your cattle,” Minister Mustapha said.

Villagers also benefited from a number seeds and Acoushi ant baits as part of the Ministry’s seed distribution programme. Residents expressed gratitude for the seeds as access to planting materials has become limited due to Surinamese officials placing restrictions on water travel due to the current global pandemic, COVID-19.

Market Facilities

Several farmers in both the Orealla and Siparuta Villages, who cultivate pineapples and other commodities, said that they would like Government to assist them with having a designated area at Springlands for them to sell their produce. Minister Mustapha said that he will engage the Regional Office to see if an area is available for the Region to develop into a marketing facility where for the farmers to sell their produce.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha handing over a number of packets of Acoushi Ant baits to Orealla village toshao, Carl Peneux

“I will speak with the Regional Officers to see what systems we can put in place to assist you. We cannot just put you anywhere. We have to develop the area and make it suitable for such an activity. There needs to be access to wash room facilities, proper garbage disposal facilities and access roads among other things,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat and other officials from the Ministry of Agriculture also accompanied Minister on the outreach.

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