Leaders in the field!

─ women of Baracara say farming transformed their lives

─ seeking new avenues to market produce in other regions

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, September 7, 2019

Utele Amsterdam has been farming all her life and is not ready to slow down just yet.

The 49-year-old Baracara resident is one of the many women farmers in the Region 6 community who earn a livelihood by carefully cultivating their produce for sale.

Amsterdam told the Department of Public Information  (DPI) what an average day entails for her. “Every morning I would get up, hire a boat to go to my farm, the drive would normally take more than one hour to get to my farm but now I am accustomed to it, I plant vegetables, pineapples and other citrus fruits,” she said.

Amsterdam proudly noted that her children and grandchildren are following in her footsteps.

Baracara famer Utele Amsterdam proudly displays some of the pineapples from her farm while speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI)

For the future, Amsterdam plans to invest her money and build her own boat so that she can freely transport her produce to the New Amsterdam Market and other markets across the regions.

“I came from humble beginnings, there were times I broke my commitment to farming because of life’s hardship, but I always came back to it,” Amsterdam related. She explained that she is currently working to get young women in the community to pursue farming by encouraging them to cultivate kitchen gardens in their backyards.

Dollis Amsterdam, another farmer said she began planting eddoes more than a year ago, after becoming a single mother of five children. She proudly explained that since becoming a farmer she is more independent and can provide for her children.

“Only last week I sold a large number of eddoes at the New Amsterdam Market and through this, I was able to provide everything my children needed for the new school term. I was once exposed to hunger, depression and hopelessness but I took it upon myself to farm for my living,” she explained.

Dollis noted that the soil in Baracara is very rich and hopes to one day sell her produce to customers in Region 4 markets, so they can judge for themselves.

Recently, a boat (30 feet) was built by participants who completed a boat-building training exercise facilitated by the Board of Industrial Training.  It is intended to assist the farmers in the community to transport the crops to markets in Region 6.

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