Baracara farmers benefit from tractor, other inputs to boost production

– Agri. Minister says all commitments made to farmers have been fulfilled

The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Agriculture, on Tuesday, made good on yet another commitment when Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha handed over the keys to a new tractor to the farmers from Baracara.

With the government steadfast on increasing agricultural production across the country, many farming communities like Baracara that were once neglected have been receiving constant support to revitalize their agriculture sector.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha hands over the key for the new tractor to Baracara’s CDC Chariman Marshall Thompson

During his last visit to the area, H.E. President Dr. Irfaan Ali had committed to assisting the farmers with a tractor to assist with their land development for agricultural purposes.

Minister Mustapha while addressing the farmers, said that the government has fulfilled every commitment made to the farmers from Baracara, adding that more will be done to restore the agriculture sector there.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while handing over the tractor pumo to the CDC Chairman

“You know for a fact when the President, His Excellency, makes a commitment he ensures it is delivered, and the importance of following up and working with the people in the community. So, we are here today. I accompanied the President when he was here the last time and he committed to assisting the community with a tractor and all the necessary implements such as a plough. Although the tractor pump was not one of the commitments, the Chairman requested assistance with one for the farmers. Because we know how important it is for the farmers to have that we decided to have that included as well. We also committed to assisting the community with some black tanks and those have also been delivered,” Minister Mustapha said.

Overall, the farmers benefited from a tractor valued at just over $5.6 million, a 4-disc plough valued at $690,000, a tractor plough valued at $1 million and 20 black tanks valued at $1.2 million. 

CDC Chairman Marshall Thompson proudly displays the key for the new tractor

The minister also disclosed that farmers have been benefiting from support to increase both crops and livestock production.

“We gave the cattle, five heads; we have one ram and we’ll also give another two to be used by the community. A number of Black Giant chicks were also given and we’ll continue with that programme. Farmers also benefited from planting materials; some 4,000 plantain suckers, corn and pumpkin seeds, and sweet potato slips,” he added.  

Minister Mustapha also said that the Ministry has earmarked Baracara as an area to produce red beans on a large scale and is ready to commence the necessary infrastructural work to begin production.

Some of the residents who attended the meeting

“When we committed to assisting with the tractor, we said we’ll work with the community to produce a special crop and our desire to, once again, make this area one of the most productive areas in the country. We are asking that you identify a 400-acre plot for the cultivation of red beans. Our officers from NAREI will work with you to develop the area so that you can produce all the red beans because that is a very lucrative crop and there is a ready market for it both locally and internationally. We know the potential of Baracara. During my time as the Regional Chairman, I recall there was a lot of produce coming from Baracara and being sold at the New Amsterdam market. We have to get back to that. Agriculture is taking a new dimension in Guyana. We are moving away from subsistence farming and are encouraging farmers to produce on a large scale,” he said. Minister Mustapha also told farmers that, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), the ministry would work to have a control structure constructed to assist with water supply.