Gov’t plugging massive resources into spice production

As part of Guyana’s implementation of climate-smart agriculture practices, the PPP/C Administration continues to expand the production of spices which include turmeric, ginger, and black pepper in Region One.

On Wednesday, during the commissioning of the coconut nursery in Hosororo, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha indicated that the government will continue to work with the farmers to boost the productivity of spices, among other crops.

NAREI’s representative explaining the process of grinding ginger to Minister Mustapha and others

To boost the production of spices at the factory, Minister Mustapha put into operation several new pieces of machinery for the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute’s (NAREI) spice processing plant.

These tools include a Vibro sifter, a ginger washer, a ginger slicer, and a ginger grinder to the tune of $9.7 million.

Minister Mustapha pointed out that Guyana has two main components (fresh water and flat arable lands) to develop the agriculture sector.

The minister noted that as a result of the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo, which was held back in May, investors are interested in Guyana.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha during his address

“Today, we are seeing the result of that exhibition where a number of investors are coming to Guyana now to invest. We have investors that will be coming to do spices…And I want you, the farmers, to take advantage of what we are doing here in Region One, the minister urged.

He emphasised that the government will work with the farmers to find a market for their produce.

A section of the cultivation of black pepper

“We know that’s a number one, here for you, in Region One…That will be a thing of the past…we will work with you to find a market for your produce.”

Minister Mustapha informed the farmers that NAREI will work along with the farmers to increase the cultivation of spices particularly ginger and turmeric.  

“I assure you that they (NAREI) will purchase all your spices so that you will have a ready market for your spices. You wouldn’t have to send your spices all over the place, come here… I will assure you that they will purchase it. So, the farmers, I am challenging you to increase and NAREI will work with you,” Minister Mustapha added.

The agriculture minister noted that Guyana is consuming 60 per cent of the food being produced.

He also alluded to the budget allocated in the agriculture sector.

One of the pieces of equipment which was commissioned at the factory

“This year’s budget in the agriculture sector is once again, $28 billion, we have moved it, we have doubled it. And that will be a continuous process where we will use money from the other sectors to develop the agriculture sector in our country. That is very important for us to get food security.”

Food security is still a top priority for the government’s development plans and the PPP/C administration continues to lay the necessary foundation to accomplish food security, and achieve CARICOM’s aim of reducing the food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025 goal.