Corn, Soya bean processing facilities to be completed within three months – Min. Mustapha
The drying and storage facilities for corn and soya bean which are currently being constructed at Tacama Landing along the Berbice River are expected to be completed within the next two to three months.
This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Tuesday, during an outreach to Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara.
The new facilities will provide employment opportunities and primarily boost the nation’s food sector.
Minister Mustapha explained that the government spends almost $60 million to import the two products. However, they are now cultivating the commodities locally with intention of exporting.
“We [government] have started the production of corn and soya in the intermediate savannah, we started to build facilities there, and in another two-three months, we’ll have those facilities complete.
“We want to produce more…that is why we are expanding…those food we have been importing, we want to start producing them locally and that is why we ventured into new crops,” the agriculture minister stated.
Meanwhile, another $150 million was set aside in this year’s budget for the construction of a wharf in the area.
It will provide easy river access to the land under cultivation, making it more accessible for farmers to transport their produce.
“Just under three years we have seen budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector move from $13 billion to $32 billion. Why have we invested in it? Why have we doubled it? Because we see the need to improve the infrastructure in our country. We see the need to ensure that we prepare the agriculture area in a way that farmers can have it easier to produce,” the minister explained.
He confidently projected that Guyana will be self-sufficient in food production in the next two years.
Meanwhile, the trial of 125 acres of corn and soya bean was started by the government in 2021 which eventually reaped major success.
Members of the private sector are also key stakeholders in the monumental cultivation and production of corn and soya bean.
This is in line with the President’s initiative of helping to reduce the food import bill in Guyana and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).