Agri. Ministry aggressively tackling Acoushi ant infestation

The Ministry of Agriculture is taking a sterner approach to tackling the infestation of Acoushi ants in affected areas across Guyana.

During a recent visit to Orealla and Siparuta, East Berbice-Corentyne, Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha assured farmers that they will be provided with the Acoushi ant bait.

A large quantity of the bait has already been delivered to the two riverine villages, as the Ministry restarts its campaign to effectively combat the infestation.

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha interacts with residents during the outreach

“Although the previous Government would have budgeted almost $10 million every year to offset the Acoushi ants programme and provide farmers with baits, [that has never happened],” Minister Mustapha stated.

The Acoushi ant is deemed one of the most troublesome agricultural pests in Guyana, and baiting is one of the methods recommended to control it.

“This bait must be crushed in the bag to break the pellets into smaller pieces. Before the crushed bait is placed in the field, the area should be weeded so the nests present are exposed,” the Ministry of Agriculture stated in a press release.

Further, Minister Mustapha disclosed that his Ministry is gradually restarting other programmes, which were discontinued when the APNU+AFC Coalition took office. Seed distribution to farmers is one such initiative. 

The Minister has since instructed the Chief Executive Officer of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth to distribute seeds to farmers to reduce cultivation costs.

Residents of Orealla and Siparuta were among the first to benefit from this initiative.

In addition, Orealla will soon receive an Agriculture Extension Officer who will be a direct link to the NAREI head office. Dr. Homenauth has been given the approval from Minister Mustapha to identify someone from the community to be trained for the position. The Minister also announced that incentives will be provided to farmers.

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