Improving farming, improving life

─ Agro-Processing seminar equips Mahaicony farmers for value-added production

─ part of an IICA collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, July 25, 2019

Members of Central Mahaicony-Perth Village Farmers’ Association recently participated in an agro-processing seminar for farmers involved in the rearing of cattle and pigs.

The venue was the association’s retail outlet in Zeskendren, Mahaicony, Region 5.

The one-day programme was facilitated by the local Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) office, in collaboration with the government. The resource persons were Arnold De Mendonca, Sustainable Rural Development Specialist, IICA Guyana and Dr. Aubrey Mendonca, Associate Professor of the Department of Food, Science & Human Nutrition, Iowa State University USA.

De Mendonca said that the focus was the provision of training for the livestock farmers on the value-added products – corned beef and salted pork. It was held under IICA’s Thematic Area of Agricultural Health, Safety and Food Quality. According to the specialist, the farmers’ association has been advancing their product diversification efforts by targeting markets for pork products in the hinterland but face challenges with spoilage of meat in their production. Hence, the seminar aimed at enabling them to be better equipped at processing the meat they produce.

The topics discussed included a presentation by De Mendonca on ‘Marketing Considerations’, and an interactive session in which the farmers were encouraged to plan strategies for the marketing of their products.

For his part, Professor Mendonca presented information on the production of corned beef and the production of salted pork.

The specialist added that the seminar was a follow-up to a previous 5-day IICA training exercise held in November 2014, for the same association of farmers in the production of ham and sausages.

“The IICA Delegation has been working closely with this association for several years and has provided areas of technical exposure for their continued success.  Further, the institute has provided technical assistance for the acquisition grant funds – the most recent being a New Zealand Government-funded solar-powered electrical system, which is now being used in their processing unit as an alternative energy source,”  Professor Mendonca explained.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) Delegation in Guyana is committed to partnering with the government to promote sustainable agricultural development, food security and rural prosperity.

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