Guyana to receive technical support from India to boost agri sector

The Ministry of Agriculture is set to receive technical support from the Government of India in various agriculture sub-sectors.

These include the hemp, millet, aquaculture, livestock and other crops.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, recently visited India for the International Year of Millets Conference, where discussions were advanced with several Indian government officials.

It was also a follow-up to visits by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Vice President  Dr Bharrat Jagdeo to the South Asian country.

President, Dr Irfaan Ali (right), in January met with India’s Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Shri Narendra Singh

Recognising that India is a powerhouse in millet production, the government is looking to gain expertise to advance the country’s food security efforts.

Millets are a group of cereal grains that belong to the Poaceae family, commonly known as the grass family. The grains are usually grounded into flour to make various foods

Speaking to media operatives recently, Minister Mustapha said India will provide technical personnel and seeds for the first 50 acres of millets that will be cultivated in Guyana.

“I am hoping that in another couple months …We can start the cultivation of millets in Guyana. I instructed our officers from the NAREI to look at the appropriate areas, where we’ll start the millet production,” he disclosed.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

The minister actively engaged in discussions with the High Commissioner of India to Guyana, Dr K. J. Srinivasa to set up the parameters for the technical personnel to come to Guyana.

“I have had a number of meetings with them, they are sound, they are qualified,” the minister highlighted.

The Ministry of Agriculture is looking to commence hemp cultivation soon

This would further push the government’s effort to increase food sustainability, while also leading the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in reducing the food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.“We have a responsibility to CARICOM to work to achieve the 25 by 2025. If that has to be successful, then Guyana has to be successful and we are working to improve that,” Minister Mustapha said.