GLDA extension services boosted with $7M in motorcycles, ATVs

Extension services at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) have been boosted with the procurement of seven Honda motorcycles and two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) valued approximately $7 million.

Dr. Grayson Halley, Chief Executive Officer, GLDA

GLDA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Grayson Halley told DPI on Tuesday, that steps were taken to procure the vehicles after an inspection and assessment campaign across several regions.

“When I took over the post as CEO of GLDA I began reaching out to various regions to farmers and staff alike. Staff raised concerns which included mobility and other related issues and after inspection, we realised the state of and lack of bikes, vehicles and other means of transportation for the staff throughout the various regions.”

To this end, Dr. Halley said Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha was informed and plans were put into motion to acquire the transportation.

“These bikes will be used to meet our mandate which speaks to extension services. They will be dispatched through the coast and hinterland regions to be used in difficult to access areas and terrains.”

Apart from the motorcycles, the GLDA has budgeted for new vehicles since most of those in service are over 25 years old and hamper the agency’s ability to meet its mandate efficiently.  Once the budget has been approved, those vehicles would be used for quarantine and extension services and a bus would be equipped for ambulance services. The latter matter would be particularly welcomed as during the assessments, farmers said they were interested in accessing regular ambulance services from the GLDA.

They also raised concerns about improving the genetic quality and quantity of their stocks and reducing their production costs.

Dr. Halley revealed that livestock farmers would receive significant assistance, including financial aid, from the GLDA to improve their capabilities.

“Through the support offered by the Government of Guyana we will continue to make strides forward in the livestock industry offering critical services to farmers countrywide,” he said.

The financial aid is among the plans being examined for 2021 to increase production and promote climate-smart agriculture.