IICA Delegation in Guyana initiates Project for the training in the Methodology for calculating cost of production of agricultural commodities including livestock and crops targeting Agricultural officers and farmers

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Delegation in Guyana with the support from the Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme (SADP) in the Agriculture Sector Development Unit (USDA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IBD), executed the first training in the methodology for “Cost of Production.”  The activity is the first of a series of many to be held in Administrative Regions 2. 3, 4, 5,  6 and 10.

In the agriculture sector, there has be some neglect on the calculating of agricultural economic productivity.  The Sector consists of diversified groups of enterprises operated by rural and other farmers.  These enterprises range from subsistence levels to commercial levels.  Many farmers have done a good job running the logistical aspects of their farming operations and even extending to value-added operations. Some see their operations as just family agriculture producing for the household and may even see it as a hobby, while others see it as an investment.  On the positive side, farmers have lots of experience and have been surviving, many of them on the small scale of operation quite reasonably.  However, when there are opportunities for them to increase their scale of operation there are many challenges.  It is notable that some farmers are innovative and are adapting to the use of technology and mechanization on their farms on a daily basis in an effort to boost production and increase their scale of operation.  The fact that they know how their equipment operates, or how to irrigate and drain their lands may be helpful, but the challenge of financial buoyance remains a challenge.  This is so evident, as many shake their heads or look away when someone brings up their cost of production. Farmers, after all, even though passionate about farming are not necessarily masters of record keeping, accounting and financial records.  The importance of being efficient and being competitive are even more important in a growing market where profitability is important.

Farmers having knowledge of their “Cost of Production” provides an essential pathway towards forming their individual marketing plans, while contributing to the efficient use of farm resources for sustainable production. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and IICA have agreed to a strategy for the training activities.  Training selected Extension Officers who will assist in spreading the knowledge to the wider arena of farmers.  Further, IICA will facilitate with the assistance of the Extension Officers also in the fields.  At the end of the Project, the Extension officers for the various agencies of the Ministry will be more equipped to guide farmers in these economic activities and farmer guidance in record keeping and calculating costs of production will be a part of the Agricultural Officer’s work program.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the first training session commenced targeting Agricultural Extension Officers from agencies within the Ministry of Agriculture including, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC), the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), Ministry of Agriculture Planning Unit, and technical staff attached to the Sustainable Agriculture Development Programme, Agriculture Sector Development Unit.  There were seventeen officers present.

To ensure economic sustainability of the agricultural enterprises it is important that the knowledge of “Cost of Production” be a part of the agricultural extension education program in Guyana. 

For more information, please contact Mr. Arnold De Mendonca, Sustainable Rural Development Specialist, arnold.demendonca@iica.int

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