– Min. Mustapha calls on more organizations to get involved in agriculture
Today, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha visited the Plaisance Seventh-day Adventist Church to discuss developing the church’s agricultural programme.
Members of the church’s leadership recently met with Minister Mustapha at his office seeking the ministry’s guidance in developing a section of their compound for agricultural purposes.
During today’s engagement, Minister Mustapha told the members that he was elated to know that organisations were taking the initiative to get involved in agriculture. He further stated that when religious and other private and public organisations get involved in agriculture, Guyana will be able to play its part in ensuring regional food security.
“I want to commend the members for taking this step. You’ve shown interest in developing an initiative that is new in many organizations. When we speak about agriculture, many persons only relate those activities to persons in the fields or the farming communities but if we can have persons emulating what is being done here then Guyana can remain food secure. Even taking it further, with these efforts, we can move closer to achieving Vision 25 by 2025,” he explained.
Further, Minister Mustapha encouraged the membership to include the youth arm of the church in the project.
“When we think about agriculture, we see it as a labor-intensive job for older folks. Now, with the technological advances in the sector, younger people are expressing an interest and coming on board. Here is your opportunity to integrate your youth groups into the project so that they too can understand the importance of agriculture to our country’s and the region’s development and growth,” he said.
Alison Wilson-Hetsberger, one of the church’s directors, said given the emphasis being placed on developing Guyana’s agriculture sector and the government’s call for organisations to get involved, the leadership decided to utilise some of the land it has available to develop an agriculture programme.
“Plaisance would’ve answered the call of the President and the minister (of agriculture) to get involved in agriculture. We planned a project and began the process of putting together a proposal to commence our shadehouse project. We’ve already commenced part of the process and received assistance in the form of virtual training from NAREI. We also partnered with the UNDP to get this project going. We are happy that the minister is here and look forward to partnering with the ministry to get this project going,” she explained.
After assessing the available land space, Minister Mustapha told the members present that teams from the ministry will be returning to the site during the week to see what is needed and develop a plan of action to move the process forward.
Also present at today’s meeting were MoA’s Director General, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj, CEO (ag) of GLDA; Dr. Dwight Waldron; CEO of NAREI, Mr. Jagnarine Singh, MoA’s Chief Technical Officer, Mr. George Jervis; the Chief Fisheries Officer, Mr. Denzil Roberts; New GMC’s Senior Marketing Officer, Mr. Asraf Narine; and other officials from the GLDA and NAREI.