Exceptional turn out at Berbice e-Agriculture forum- Min. Hughes

  • ICT Roadshow culminates

DPI Guyana, Saturday, July 14, 2018

Farmers, businesspersons and other citizens of East Berbice- Corentyne (Region Six) turned out in their numbers today at an e-Agriculture forum hosted as part of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) roadshow.

Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes said the forum achieved its objective of opening the minds of the citizens, particularly farmers on the benefits of incorporating the use of ICTs in their activities.

“What we wanted to do was sit with farmers in communities and give them an idea of where the technology is going, what e-Agriculture is about and in a very practical way talk about some of the things that can help them, “she noted.

During her interaction with the farmers, Minister Hughes said e-Agriculture will change the way farming is done and will also attract the interest of young people to pursue this field, pointing to drone technology for pest control and crop monitoring.

Minister Hughes said the turnout was exceptional and the enthusiasm to learn more about the technology was overwhelming.

Secretary-General of the CTU, Bernadette Lewis encouraged farmers to use ICTs to add value to their produce. She also urged the older persons to educate themselves on the new and emerging technologies by visiting the ICT hubs in their communities.

Lewis said there are many creative ways of enhancing produce from new packaging ideas to finding non-traditional uses of particular items.

There were presentations from representatives of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and WHYFARM- “We Help Youth Farm,” with a special appearance by “Agri-Man.”

Agri-Man is a superhero created to promote the benefits e-agriculture and small-scale agriculture practices at the roadshow with the catchphrase, “Plant a tree, Live for free.”

Three students of the Bygeval Secondary also demonstrated a technique they invented which shows how to conduct soil testing using microbits. The students, Phyllis Viera, Supriya Jagdeo and Kirti Budgat have plans of developing an automatic sprinkler system that will water plants when low moisture content is detected.

A pilot project will soon be conducted with a group of farmers on the use of a marketing app created by local technology company Innosys. The app allows farmers to find suitable and nearby markets for their produce.

The East Berbice-Corentyne, e-Agriculture Forum marked the culmination of the six-day inaugural CTU, ICT roadshow and according to both Minister Hughes and the CTU Secretary-General, the event exceeded expectations.

By: Stacy Carmichael

Images: Tejpaul Bridgemohan