Essequibo farmers benefit from approx. $18M in farming implements to boost production

  • farmers’ groups receive tractor

On Wednesday, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha distributed several pieces of equipment to small-scale farmers from Anna Regina and other surrounding areas on the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha while handing over the tractor to representatives of the farmers’ groups

The equipment, which are valued at approximately $18 million, included tractor-driven pumps, tillers, mist blowers, and threshers.

Minister Mustapha while addressing those present said the equipment will assist farmers with making their farming activities less labor intensive.

Minister Mustapha hands over a set of farm implements to a farmer from Region Two

“These pieces of equipment will assist you with making your work less labor intensive as well as increase your production and productivity. While we are investing in the infrastructure and other equipment to enhance your livelihoods, these interventions are important to assist you with boosting your production. If you take a look at the traditional sector, production is increasing. While this is happening, we are also diversifying and assisting farmers with producing new crops. We are doing this because, as a country, we have to reduce our dependency on imported food. The investments we are making will assist with reducing our food import bill. If CARICOM is to reduce the regional food import bill by 25% by 2025, then Guyana has to play a lead role in those efforts. For Guyana to be successful we have to ensure our farmers have the necessary support to increase and diversify their production,” Minister Mustapha said.

A total of fifteen water pumps, seven tillers, twenty mist blowers, and five threshers were distributed to the farmers valued at approximately $7 million.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha while handing over one of the implements to a farmer

Minister Mustapha also said that while flooding continues to affect several vulnerable areas across the country, local authority bodies and municipalities will each benefit from pumps to assist with managing flooding.

“One of the things that has been affecting us is flooding. So, through the NDIA, the Ministry of Agriculture has procured 100 tractor-driven pumps which will be distributed to all the local bodies across the country. Today, we will distribute eight in Region Two. So, each NDC or municipality will have a pump to assist farmers when flooding occurs,” he added.  

A section of the tractor-driven pumps that were distributed

Meanwhile, at Aurora Village, Minister Mustapha handed over a tractor to representatives from several farmers groups from the region.

During a previous visit to the region, Minister Mustapha met with a group of farmers who indicated that they needed assistance to expand their production.

The tractor that was handed over to representatives of the various farmers’ groups in the region

“A few months ago, I met with a farmers’ group and I encouraged them to increase their production and to get involved in agro-processing. They indicated that they needed help with acquiring things like a tractor and other implements. They also said that they needed assistance with building capacity through the New GMC. We made a commitment at that time and today we are here to deliver the tractor that will be used by the various farmers’ groups across the region. A management committee will be set up to assist with monitoring the operation of the tractor so that all the groups can benefit,” the minister noted.