Always have a plan B

– Re.g 2 farmer finding ways to generate income during and after COVID-19 pandemic

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

During the novel coronavirus pandemic, Pomeroon-Supenaam farmer Oscar Richmond has been busy looking for new ways of selling his produce on the market.

The farmer and CEO of Green Diamond Foods and Farm told DPI that he is increasing his activities on the farm focusing more on crops that are in demand on the local market and those that can be easily processed for sale to wholesalers and manufacturing companies in need of raw materials.

Farmers and CEO of Green Diamond Foods and Farm, Oscar Richmond display a crop of just harvested bananas from his farm

Oscar Richmond on his farm

Oscar Richmond on his farm

Heavy-laden five finger (Carambola) tree.

A grove of banana trees

“I embarked on this plan because I realised that one cannot wait for the pandemic to be over, to then come up with a plan,” Richmond said.

He posited once all goes well, this move will likely offset any shortfalls, he suffered due to the pandemic.

His produce is sold to wholesalers at Charity Market in Region Two, while some are processed, packed and delivered to supermarkets on the Essequibo Coast and Georgetown.

“The land that I am cultivating my crops on is approximately fifty acres and I secured fifteen acres specifically to do my farming. I cultivate citrus, coconut, ground provisions, plantain, avocado, breadfruit, watermelon, carambola, banana, peppers with a wide variety of vegetables,” he explained.

Like many Richmond said his business was affected by the COIVD-19 pandemic. With some establishments closing and fewer trips being done by the ferry he found it challenging to transport his produce from the farm to market.

However, he noted that given the current circumstance strict attention is being paid to adhering to the Ministry of Public Health safety protocols both home and at work.

These measures he elaborated are frequent washing of hands, sanitising surfaces around the work area with proper handling and delivery of all processed and packaged farm produce.

“Practicing basic hygiene is of the utmost importance in our everyday lives and should never be comprised or taken lightly, particularly in light of the important role farmers play in society,” Richmond noted.

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