-NAREI to address issues faced by Waramuri farmers, villages to benefit from improved extension services
During a recent outreach to Santa Rosa, a riverine community in the Moruca sub-district in Region One (Barima – Waini), Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed that livestock farmers will benefit from additional stock to expand swine rearing in the community.
While meeting with farmers, Minister Mustapha said that the government in its effort to improve the agriculture sector has been making sizable budgetary allocations to expand and develop the livestock sector.
One of the four swine farmers from the village told the minister that he would like to expand his operations but because of issues with stock, he was beginning to have issues with inbreeding. This, he added, has affected the health and quality of the offspring and his ability to expand his operations.
Minister Mustapha told the farmers that the ministry, through the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) would assist the farmers in the area with additional animals to develop the stock in the village.
“There are only a few of you but we will assist with expanding your operations. The GLDA will make additional stock available so that you can expand. Each farmer will be given piglets. When those piglets grow and have droppings, those who benefited from the initial stock will have to share with the other farmers who are interested so that they too can get involved in swine production,” the minister explained.
Minister Mustapha also said that technical officers from the GLDA will be visiting the area more regularly while the agency works to have a full-time veterinarian stationed to service the communities.
With the growing demand locally for special cuts of meat and CARICOM’s goal of reducing the regional food import bill by 25% by 2025, Minister Mustapha said that the government had embarked on a number of projects geared at expanding the livestock sector.
In addition to swine, poultry farmers in the village will also benefit from 25 Black Giant chickens to push their production capacity.
Meanwhile, farmers from Waramuri Village who are having issues with crops were also assured that they too would benefit from assistance.
One farmer present at the meeting said many persons from the village would usually purchase vegetables from the market at Charity because the vegetables grown in the village were not appealing. He explained that some vegetables remained small while others would wither and that villagers were not satisfied with the quality.
Minister Mustapha told the farmers that technical officers from the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), would be returning to the village to meet with farmers to give technical advice in this regard.
He further stated that farmers are now being encouraged to consolidate and expand their cultivation. To this end, the minister said that the ministry through the NAREI, in addition to the necessary skills training, will provide farmers with planting materials free of cost.
“We will provide you with the necessary planting materials. If you want cassava slips, seedlings for various fruits and vegetables, or seeds we will make those inputs available. We have ready markets available for a number of commodities that can be grown right here in Waramuri. The New Guyana Marketing Corporation will facilitate getting you access to these markets. They will also meet with you to plan for these markets so you will know what quantities are required and what to plant. It is time we move away from subsistence farming and rest assured that the government will help you to do so,” Minister Mustapha noted.