Agri. Ministry receives 11,500 packets of vegetable seeds from IICA to aid with ongoing flood relief efforts

Today, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)’s Brazil office handed over 11,500 packets of vegetable seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture to aid with the government’s ongoing flood relief efforts.

The seeds will be distributed to farmers who were affected by flooding over the last few months.

From left – IICA’s Country Representative Wilmot Garnett, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and NAREI’s CEO Jagnarine Singh

The donation was done at the Ministry of Agriculture’s head office in Georgetown.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said the donation was both timely and significant as Guyana as farmers are in the process of returning to the land after suffering extensive losses as a result of the recent flooding.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

“These seeds will go a far way with adding to the joint efforts of the government and the farmers with rebuilding our agriculture sector given the devastation brought on by the flooding experienced over the last few months. From the level of the government, we’ve commenced distribution of our flood-relief packages to those farmers across the country who were affected. This donation will help us to speed up the process of returning to the land,” Minister Mustapha said.

IICA’s Director General and other officials from Brail who joined the handing over ceremony virtually

Minister Mustapha also noted that although Caribbean countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, support from international agencies such as IICA can help countries overcome such vulnerabilities. He said countries need to work together and support each other to mitigate the devastating effects brought on by natural disasters and climate change.  

IICA’s Director General, Dr. Manuel Otero said in response to the devastation brought on by the flooding, IICA was pleased to donate seeds and other planting material to help farmers return to the land as soon as possible.

Some of the seeds that were donated today

“It was evident during the last summit that most of the countries expressed concern regarding the vulnerability, especially in the Caribbean countries. While we seek to find doable solutions on the road to resilience, we must exercise solidarity and collaborate with others. This is why, as a response to the unprecedented flooding that Guyana recently experienced resulting in major damages to the agriculture sector, IICA is making a donation of vegetable seeds so that we can support the Guyanese farmers with getting back into production, building rural wealth, and food security. To date, we’ve donated vegetable seeds, seedlings, and seedling trays which are already in the fields. This donation is a clear example of our commitment to quickly respond to such disasters,” Dr. Otero said.

Last July, IICA’s Country Representative in Guyana, Mr. Wilmot Garnett said that 6000 potato slips (potato planting material) would also be donated to the government through support from IICA’s Jamaica office and 10,000 cassava sticks (cassava planting material) to assist with the ongoing flood relief efforts.

Some of the seeds that were donated today

To date, IICA has donated a number of seeds, seedlings, over 5000 seedling trays, and planting materials for both potatoes and cassava to the government of Guyana to assist with its ongoing flood-relief efforts.

The variety of seeds distributed by the agency includes pumpkin, tomato, eggplant, green sweet pepper, carrot, pea, green coriander, bunching onion, iceberg lettuce, purple oak-shaped lettuce, round watermelon, round radish, green cabbage, butterhead lettuce, and broadleaf rocket.