Black Bush Polder farmers, women to benefit from shade houses soon

As part of government’s continued efforts to transform the lives of Guyanese, farmers of Black Bush Polder, Region Six are set to benefit from shade houses soon which will help to increase production of high-value crops such as cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.  

Two shade houses will be distributed to the farming group in Mibikuri, while the women from Lesbeholden will receive two as well.

A section of the shade house at NAREI

This initiative will help to improve livelihoods, increase the production of these crops, and create disposable income for the women in the farming communities.

This is an indication of the government’s continued efforts to create various avenues for the development of women.

The government continues to invest aggressively in the implementation of climate-smart agriculture practices to drive sustainable production and ensure food security. 

The President Ali-led Administration has been leading CARICOM in its food security efforts to reduce the high food import bill in the region by 25 per cent by 2025.

During several farmers’ meetings in Region Six last Saturday, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed that this lucrative project has earned more than $10 million to date.

Every week, these high-value crops are being sold to the oil and gas industry and the hotel chains in the country.

The minister noted that “I want you to form yourself into that group and I will give you two shade houses where NAREI will work along with you to produce these high-value crops…And we will help you all to do that. Crops that can attract large sums of money. Crops that are in demand right here in our country. Produce that you can have ready-markets for immediately. And I want us to start that programme in Black Bush Polder for the women.”

A section of the meeting at Lesbeholden, Region Six

He said that a plot of land at NAREI’s compound in Black Bush Polder can be utilised for the production of the crops.

This lucrative project, he stated, will also help single parents and vulnerable people.

The minister emphasised that “It is now time for areas like these, Black Bush Polder, that we make opportunities available for women in these areas. So, the government, what we have been doing, we have been adding a number of programmes like skills training, economic activities that you can get yourself involved in. These will improve your livelihood and your income. You should take the challenge that we have.

The Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP) was launched in January 2022 by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

In addition to giving young people job opportunities, the shade house initiative will strengthen the nation’s economy by boosting food security and exports of high-value crops.  

120 shade houses were constructed to support the success and expansion of the project by the end of 2022.

As the government continues to fund all aspects of the agriculture sector, some $200 million has been allocated to expand the shade house project this year.