The Ministry of Agriculture’s extension services will be restructured to better serve Guyanese agriculturists nationwide, this year.
The PPP/C Administration plans to further digitise agriculture services and strengthen laboratory equipment, as it continues to promote climate-smart agriculture and input supply distribution to farmers.
To this end, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, said the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) will receive $1.27 billion to stimulate its production base and ensure Guyana’s food is safe.
He said the gap between research and extension will be bridged to ensure innovative technologies reach farmers for them to modernise their agricultural activities, increasing production and revenues.
“Work has already commenced that will see a number of farmers in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and 10 benefitting from several technology packages that will guide their farming activities.
In order for our government to deliver efficient and effective service and implement impacting policies, there is need for updated agriculture data. As such, in 2022 an agriculture survey will be conducted in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten,” Minister Mustapha said, during an interview with DPI on Wednesday.
Farmers will continue to benefit from planting equipment and materials through assistance from NAREI’s Rural Agricultural and Infrastructure Development Project.
Planting materials and other supplies valued up to $100,000 each, were distributed to about 300 farmers in all administrative regions last year.
Government wants the same assistance to be given to over 100 farmers across the 10 administrative regions in 2022.
The administration continues to promote agri-entrepreneurship. Approximately 4,000 individuals in Regions One and Nine will benefit from assistance in developing business plans under the Hinterland Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Development (HESAD).
Additionally, 35 public investments are expected to be completed in 2022. These investments include: access to farmlands, transportation and storage for farm products.
“There will also be investments in the School Feeding Programme kitchens as we seek to improve the services and the operations to better the nutritional health of the school age population. These public collective Investments within Communities of Regions One and Nine will benefit some 3,000 individuals,” the agriculture minister added.
Over 200 shade houses will be constructed, as part of the wider holistic plan for 2022. Last year saw the construction of 150 shade houses, with NAREI’s provision of materials at subsidised costs, designs and technical support.
With the implementation of these measures, the other crops sub-sector is expected to recover and experience substantial growth in 2022.