Guyana to begin millet production trials – President Ali

Guyana will soon commence cultivation trials for millets production in Regions Four, Nine, and 10 to support the transition to large-scale production of the seed locally.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali made the announcement Saturday last, during a virtual address at the Inauguration of the Global Millet Conference in New Delhi, India.

Highlighting the instrumental role millet production plays in addressing the global food insecurity issue, Dr Ali also stated that the production here can support poverty reduction.

He said the regions represent the profit zone in which similar crops like corn and soya are adaptive and being produced on a large scale.

India has been a global leader in the production of millets, and already the PPP/C Government has committed to making some 200 acres of land available to India for exclusive millet production.

“Guyana looks forward to strengthening its cooperation with India to kickstart large, medium, and small-scale production of millets. India is the largest millet producer in the world, and through collaboration, Guyana hopes to embark soon on the sustainable production of millets,” the head of state said.

His Excellency, President Dr Irfaan Ali

The South Asian state is expected to provide technical support and guidance during production.

“Guyana has identified the production of millets as having great potential towards enhancing national and regional food security,” the president underscored.

Millets are a highly varied group of small seeds and cereal crops. They are a powerhouse of nutrients, rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibres.

Based on the required environmental conditions for millet germination, Guyana is considered an ideal zone for the growth and development of the seed.

Importantly, millet production would open up additional avenues for economic advancement, providing a new market for export.

Moreover, the crop is resilient to climate change, making it a worthwhile venture to achieve sustainability.

The undertaking is in keeping with the implementation of CARICOM’s ‘25 by 2025’ vision of reducing its food import bill by approximately US$1 billion by 2025, in dropping reliance on imported cereal grains.   

“Together, we can achieve sustainable development, eliminate hunger, adapt to climate change, and transform agri-food systems by exploring every viable opportunity,” the head of state asserted.

The Global Millet ‘Shree Anna’ Conference is a two-day conference featuring health experts, policymakers, international speakers, and key stakeholders connected to the field of Food Safety and Nutrition discussing the various aspects of millets, including promotion, and value chain development.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha is currently in India and participated in the roundtable discussion. The year was declared the International Year of Millets (IYM) by the United Nations General Assembly.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during the roundtable discussion on Sunday