Gov’t continues support to revitalise coconut production
The PPP/C Administration in keeping with its commitment to increase the country’s capacity to produce value added products, is giving prominence to the coconut industry, with the allocation of $66 million this year, to boost resources and promote expansion.
The financial support to the Hope Coconut Industry Limited will see the advancement of inter-cropping, utilisation of coconut by-products and increased production and productivity.
Government continues to highlight the benefits that Guyanese can enjoy from the use of coconut, and the production of value-added products from coconut waste.
Since 2020, coconut acreage under cultivation has increased by 2,505 acres, with 2021 surpassing its target by 1,005, encouraging about 117 new farmers to come on board.
In 2021, a total of $38.5 million was injected into conducting capital projects to improve services to farmers.
Four new coconut nurseries were also established in Wakenaam, Leguan, Canal No. 2, and No. 63 Village last year, which increased production capacity to 172,000 seedlings.
Farmers were also able to have easy access to adequate amounts of high-quality coconut seedlings at a reduced cost.
Due to the intervention, the Hope Estate now has under its management seven seedling nurseries established in Regions Two, Three, Four and Six. Additionally, two shade houses were constructed in the estate’s compound.
This year, the administration is targeting 1,000 acres of new coconut lands, while three new coconut nurseries will be established, with funds allocated in the 2022 fiscal package.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, in a previous interview, pointed out that, “These will be constructed at Hosororo, Region One, Fort Wellington, Region Five and Lethem, Region Nine, resulting in an additional 36,000 seedlings per annum or an overall 208,000 seedlings of national production per year.”
He said the National Coconut Sensitisation Programme along with the National Coconut Seedling Decentralisation Programme are ongoing and will be advanced this year.
Minister Mustapha said too, that the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) will continue research and development by upgrading the Bio-Technology Laboratory to be able to generate coconut plantlets.
The agriculture ministry was allocated $28.7 billion from the National Assembly in 2022.