“Eat Fresh and Buy local” – Lindener urges
DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 6, 2018
A Linden agro-business owner is encouraging his fellow residents to buy local and eat fresh.
Pierce Ifill, who operates the ‘Fresh from the West’ farm and agricultural produce business, said his mission is to promote self-sufficiency in food in Region 10. He also encourages residents to spend their monies in the community since it will aid economic development of the mining town.
“Fresh from the West” by name and nature. It’s fresh and it’s from West Watooka, Linden. The reason I gave it this name is because I want to produce fresh quality products right here in Linden and it’s from West Watooka, Linden,” Ifill said.
In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), Ifill said despite being in operation for approximately five years, his business is now experiencing positive growth and currently employs seven persons. He encourages other residents to become involved in agriculture, in an effort to minimise the amount of food being imported into the region.
“I think at the school level it must be demonstrated that farming could give you a reasonable life, after which a person would be able to practice it. It is not everyone when they leave school that would be able to find a good job. We know jobs are hard to find, but at least if they know that they can plant something and get something reasonable out of it at least they would do it.”
The experienced farmer noted that though Linden is a mining area, there is land suitable for farming. Ifill said despite the view held by some residents that farming or agriculture is not a very profitable venture, “I take farming as a business like any other business I am gaining momentum and climbing heights in the town of Linden.”
Further, Ifill said while drainage is adequate in the West Watooka area, the challenge lies with irrigation, especially during the dry season. This, he said, is soon to be addressed by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
“From what I understand works are supposed to start very soon in setting the irrigation system in place but in the meanwhile, I have put systems in place to take care of [my crops].”
While acknowledging training provided by several agricultural and business management agencies in the region over the years, Ifill said his intention is to approach a local bank shortly, to finance the expansion of his operations.
“In the early years, I had one loan from LEN [Linden Enterprise Network Incorporated]. The Small Business Bureau I received some training from them but never had the opportunity to get a loan from them because I am a person that is always active on the farm, but I am going to the commercial bank for a loan to go into shade culture. I am going to do a massive shade in linden very soon,” Ifill said.
The ‘Fresh from the West’ brand provides customers with a line of quality vegetables including tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, and bora every day of the week, at Ifill’s booth located at Pine Street and Potato Road in Linden.
By: Kidackie Amsterdam