─ as Gov’t expands initiative
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha M.P, said the President’s shade house initiative has been so successful that the ministry will be expanding the project to reach a wider section of young farmers.
The project which falls under the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme was launched in January, 2022 with the aim of initially constructing 25 shade houses. However, the government will be constructing an additional 275 shade houses that will benefit farmers across the country.
“We are looking to build 100 shade houses at Mon Repos in the first instance, and also to build shade houses across the country.
“So, the shade house project is moving very rapidly and we’re hoping that at the end of this 100, we can go to a different part and start build, but in all for this project we’ll be building 300 shade houses for the young people,” the minister said ina recent interview.
He noted that the government is close to completing 54 shade houses, some of which are already producing. He said the produce are being marketed and sold locally to consumers including the Marriott, Pegasus and other hotels, as the demand for food items increases.
Additionally, with the shade house initiative moving apace, farmers will be able to cultivate the targeted high-valued crops including carrot, broccoli and cauliflower, but also the initiative has expanded to allow the cultivation of a variety of other crops.
Further, the agriculture minister said Guyana plays a significant role in ensuring food security in the Caribbean. As such, the government is currently training and teaching eight students from Barbados to build shade houses, as well as prepare crops for planting. “So, the Caribbean now also looks forward to Guyana to help them to build that industry,” the agriculture minister noted.