Keeping pace with RACE

─ Linden showing promise with turnout at RACE

─ Food Security at the top of the Agenda for Reg. 10

─ RACE leading to small business growth within the Region

 DPI, Guyana, Monday, September 23, 2019

 As Linden continues to align itself as an agricultural force, farmers utilised the Rural Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition (RACE) to showcase what they have to offer to the public and the business community.

Linden is mostly known for its exploits in the mining sector, however, as of recent, there has been a considerable shift to into the agricultural sector. This move has resulted in the resuscitation of the poultry industry by Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Valerie Adams-Yearwood.

She urged female poultry farmers to get back into rearing poultry commercially. It has also been supported by the Regional Chairman Renis Morian who is adamant about food security for his region and Guyana.

The recent shift to Agricultural development is also welcomed by Minister of Business, Hon. Haimraj Rajkumar.

“I am happy to see that there is a movement to agriculture, the sector because we must be able to produce our own food, I think food security of any country is paramount and so it is very good to see that there are members from Linden who have taken up the opportunity to be involved in Agriculture and of course value-added production.”

Added to the sleek packaging of the value-added products, there were some farmers with impressive products like Gordon Newton – a farmer from South Amelia’s Ward. Gordon had been farming for several years further along the Demerara River where he faced many challenges in developing his farming business. It was not until he moved to Linden that he sourced some Dasheen plants, found a swamp and set to work. And at this year’s RACE, he was able to showcase some gigantic Eddoes. Gordon happily gave us his secret to getting these massive Eddoes

“My technique planting these eddoes and getting them at this enormous size is allowing the water to pass through the eddoes for the first four months because eddo is a five-to-six month crop and after the fourth month with the water passing through I withdraw the water from them and leave them to get the dry land which includes drainage and irrigation and that’s how they develop that enormous size.”

Gordon, however, indicated his struggle with acquiring seedlings, a problem that the Tappin Brothers are working hard to fix. Cleveland and Oliver Tappin are members of the One Mile Community Development Council (CDC)’s seedling nursery through which residents benefit from free seedling distributions as well as practical assistance to start up their very own kitchen gardens. Cleveland was lucky enough to undergo training in seedling cultivation in Trinidad and has since been pushing to be the number one seedling provider for his community as he believes in the importance of Food Security.

“We promoting seedling production along with plants and we are encouraging farmers in the community to grow livestock also like chicken, birds, pigs and permanent crops. We are trying to achieve subsistence in the community so that we can get the things we need in the community while encouraging others to do likewise, so it can spread and we can encourage food security as the way forward.”

It cannot be understated the significant impact that this particular exhibition has on small businesses as well in the mining town. From farmers to agro-processors, even decorating businesses, everyone is set to benefit from RACE.

In her closing remarks, Hon. Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Valerie Adams-Yearwood better outlined the impact of RACE on the growth of local businesses.

“So, Race is an event that allows us to recognise appreciate and celebrate our local businesses within the region while providing a platform for them to better market themselves. The exhibition also serves as a means to encourage our people to buy local products, support our small and striving businesses and to eat local.”

Minister Adams-Yearwood further encouraged the farmers present to continue to grow.

“We have the land for Agriculture, we have the land for manufacturing! And we must have access to it, to do manufacturing, to do farming! In Region 10 we want to expand RACE, we want to grow more, we have the farmers, they have the wherewithal!”