Agri. Ministry receives seeds, planting material from IICA as part of flood-relief assistance

  • items to be given to flood-affected farmers

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) today handed over a number of seeds and planting materials to the Ministry of Agriculture to assist with the Government’s flood-relief efforts.

The items will be distributed to farmers who suffered losses as a result of the recent flooding.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha receiving the donation from IICA’s Country Representative, Wilmot Garnett in the presence of other officials

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, while receiving the items on behalf of the Government, said the Ministry through the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) has been working to ensure that the various plant nurseries have the necessary planting material to assist farmers with returning to the land after floodwaters are receded.

“With the flooding that we’ve experienced over the past few months, almost the entire agriculture sector, in terms of crops, was devastated. We’ve been preparing our nurseries across the country so that we can assist farmers with getting back to the land as soon as possible. Floodwaters have been receding in many residential and farming communities across the country. We are hoping for favourable weather so that farmers can return to the land as early as possible. NAREI has been working to ensure enough planting materials are available for farmers once floodwaters have receded. We’ll continue to collaborate with our international partners like IICA to get the necessary materials to ensure our farmers are, once again, able to produce,” Minister Mustapha said.

Some of the donated planting materials

A total of 5000 seedling trays have so far been procured by IICA and given to NAREI to prepare seedlings for distribution. Other planting materials like seedlings and seeds were also donated to aid with the Government’s national flood-relief efforts.

IICA’s Country Representative, Mr. Wilmot Garnett said following the onset of the rainy season, IICA has been collaborating with the Ministry to monitor flooding in agricultural areas across the country.

NAREI staff preparing seed trays for distribution

“Our team has been collaborating with Minister Mustapha and his team to monitor the recent floods in Guyana. Once we got an idea of the extent of the damages a request came from the Minister for immediate support that was immediately approved. Over the weekend, teams from IICA and NAREI commenced the preparation of the seedling trays and other planting materials. This morning we also confirmed that 6000 potato slips (planting material) will be given to the government through the support of our partners in Jamaica and they should be here by Wednesday. We are expecting two varieties that will be used by NAREI to propagate because with the flooding farmers lost almost all of their sweet potatoes. We are also expecting 10,000 cassava sticks (planting materials) from our partners in Brazil,” Mr. Garnett said.

Some of the seed trays that were prepared for distribution

The Ministry is currently preparing its flood assessment report to determine the losses experienced in farming communities across the country.