$16.3M Model Farm commissioned at Fort Wellington
For the first time, farmers and youths of Region Five will now benefit from improved access to sustainable, best farming and integrated agriculture practices, with the commissioning of the research and model farm at Fort Wellington, West Coast Berbice.
The model farm will further support the Ministry of Agriculture’s research and extension system.
This project is a collaboration between the Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through the Sustainable Agriculture Development Project (SADP).
The project cost some $16.3 million for civil works, while $1.5 million was expended for equipment.
The farm consists of land filling, vermi and thermophilic comparing, storage room, shade house, cattle pen, composting house, swine pen, feed formulation, small ruminants and black giant chicken pens, electrical and water supply network, among others.
During the commissioning on Saturday, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted that the project is part of government’s unwavering dedication to foster innovation and sustainability within the sector.
The model farm will assist farmers to practice excellent agriculture practices, while ramping up food production.
“Farms like these are being built across the country to help you to get best practices, innovation and skills, so that you can implement it in your farm holdings… We can have students come to these farms to have practical… We are building farms like these to develop our agriculture sector,” Minister Mustapha noted.
Minister Mustapha added that this model farm is one of several projects government will be commissioning nationwide.
“We will be having projects like these in Regions Two, Three, Four, Six and other regions across our country,” Minister Mustapha noted.
Meanwhile, IDB’s Resident Representative, Lorena Solorzano-Salazar described the project as a great milestone for Guyana and further commended the government for its continuous progress in the sector, to advance food security.
“We, at the IDB, are pleased with this support in this new era and transformation with technology being implemented by the ministry of agriculture, which includes the research and demonstration farm… Farmers will have information to increase their production but also to increase their incomes, reduce environmental impacts in the process, and produce healthy food,” Salazar emphasised.
This intervention will benefit a number of stakeholders including cash crops and livestock farmers, as well as nearby schools in Region Five, and extension officers.
Minister of Public Service, Sonia Parag, who also delivered remarks, said that government is continuously working to strengthen the sector to be food secure. The minister added that programmes and initiatives like these will bring tremendous relief and benefits to different groups of people in Guyana.
“I know that people will be able to benefit in their everyday lives from this ... I implore you to utilise the opportunities that have been given to you,” Minister Parag underlined.
Minister Mustapha handed over sports gear to the Woodley Park Young Strikers Cricket Club.