35,000 acres of land to be cultivated in Region Six – VP announces
– 10-member committee to decide on feasible crops
A 10-member committee was established to work along with the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance, and regional authorities to decide on which crops can be cultivated on some 35,000 acres of land in Region Six.
This decision was made today during a meeting hosted by Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo with farmers to examine how the government can assist them with the venture, which is expected to create employment for approximately 3,000 persons in the region.
The meeting which was held in the Conference Hall of the Classic Hotel, Corentyne, saw a number of farmers in attendance.
This move is in keeping with a commitment made by the Vice President about a month ago when he spearheaded an outreach in the region.
One of the crops being considered for cultivation is hemp, which VP Jagdeo said can be beneficial to the small farmers.
Only recently, the Hemp Cultivation legislation was tabled in the National Assembly. Government has already made known its plan to venture into value-added hemp production, which is a multi-billion dollar industry that would create thousands of jobs.
Aquaculture and other small crops are also being considered to be cultivated on these lands.
Region Six was the hardest hit from the APNU+AFC’s closure of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates, which saw over 7,000 sugar workers losing their jobs.
This initiative forms part of the government’s co-investment initiative which will see partnerships with the private sector to create employment opportunities.
The Vice President disclosed another plan to utilise GuySuCo lands for the production of sugar on a smaller scale.
He also said some of the leases which state that only sugar cane be cultivated on the lands, will have to be revised to reflect the objective of the venture. The finance minister, the VP noted, will look into this.
Government is also keen on providing support to the co-ops and ensuring the members benefit equitably.
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will also be looking into the drainage system to ensure maximum production, as the intention is to export the produce on a large scale.
Further, the VP addressed several other concerns raised by the farmers. He committed to providing fertiliser and planting tools to some farmers.
He was accompanied by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, officials from the NDIA and the regional administration.