Kuru Kururu Farmers benefit from Smart Agro-Processing Facility

Farmers of Kuru Kururu and surrounding areas will now benefit from Smart Agro-Processing Facility, which will aid economic development in the area.

Members of the collaborating agencies pose at the sign of the new facility

The Kuru Kururu Farmers Crops and Livestock Association, and the Smart Agro-Processing facility are being housed at the old Kuru Kururu workshop building which was provided by the Agriculture Ministry.

Some processed products produced by the facility

Funding came from the United Nations Development Programme, GEF Small Grants Programme which provided USD$35,223.

Support for the project came from the Basic Needs Trust Fund, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. The Guyana Energy Agency provided consultation and the labour for the project.

Senior Energy Engineer at the Guyana Energy Agency, Vickash Gokoel, while making remarks at the official opening ceremony on Friday, noted that Guyana’s low carbon development strategy 2030, is geared towards a massive expansion of renewable and clean energy across the country.

Some processed products produced by the facility

“Renewable and energy and energy efficiency development, continues to play a pivotal role in Guyana’s ongoing energy transformation, the Government of Guyana is committed to achieving a low-carbon economy and advancing the nation’s transition away from conventional energy sources,” Gokoel said.

The agencies got on board with helping the Kuru Kururu farmers in October of 2021, before that they faced several hardships in producing and sustaining the facility.

A tour of the facility

Farmer Denise Thomas-Spencer thanked all the agencies for the facility which will now make like much better for those who use the facility.

“We were very challenged by electricity to do our jams and jelly and the eddo flour it was very tedious, because when we finish at the end of the day we have to pay light bill, and all our profit went back into the light bills, and because of that it was like going slow, very slow, because of the mandatory work, we could come in and we would peel,” Thomas-Spenser said.

She explained that because of the manual labour, the workers also received a lot of injuries to their hands because of the slipperiness of the eddoes

A farmer of Laluni, Emmett Nicholas shared his thoughts on the facility.

“I glad that we could get develop in Guyana and them thing because, as small farmers, we didn’t get no kind of push and now we getting the push, so we gotta make the best use of it,” he said.  

The facility produces jelly and different products made of eddo, which is the main crop in the area, with the community producing more than a million pounds of eddo per month.

Solar Panels on the roof of the old workshop building, which houses the Smart Agro- Processing facility

Farmer, Joy Heywood welcomed the facility, noting that “it was long-awaited”.

She said, “ it would offset some of our eddos, we trying to get this thing up and running for about over 17 years it’s a lot of sacrifices but we didn’t give up, we keep on working.”

Meanwhile, another farmer, Alfred Morrison said that “this means a great to all farmers of kuru kururu for me this is a great initiative because for years we have been struggling here with eddoes that can’t take the local market by just selling eddoes so this processing that they have put in place here this would do wonders for us.”

Carlyle Noble, another farmer, said he now has to worry less about the market for his eddoes.

“…The farmer can produce on a larger scale at this point because I think their confidence has been built, in terms of farming. After all, they know that when they produce, they have somewhere to sell their produce, knowing that this facility will be taking off much of the eddoes that is being produced in the community,” he said. GEF Small Grants Programme provides financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods, SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.