Millet production to support Guyana’s food security efforts

─ MOU signed with UPL Limited to commence trials

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with India-based company, UPL Limited, to commence the trials for millet production locally.

This agreement was birthed through the Global Millet conference in March 2023, attended by Minister Mustapha.

Millets are cereal crops and small-seeded grasses, which are widely used in African and Asian countries. It is a type of cereal that is a part of the grass family Poaceae. Unlike rice and wheat which require many inputs like fertiliser and water, millets grow well in dry regions. It is used to make bread, cereals, and even beer.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha along with members of the Indian delegation. PS, Ms. Delma Nedd and Director-General, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj are also pictured (MOA photo)

Government has already set aside 200 acres of land for the production of the crop. UPL Limited will provide new technology and agriculture inputs, to conduct trials in Regions Four, Nine, and Ten, before large-scale production begins. 

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, previously noted that the production of millets will support his government’s poverty reduction efforts.

Guyana’s millet production will fuse directly to the country’s effort, as a lead contributor in achieving CARICOM’s 25 by 25 goal, which is to reduce the region’s almost US $5 billion food import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025.

The Government of Guyana has been relentless in achieving food security while supporting sister CARICOM nations in the agri sector.

The black belly sheep project was launched in Region Five, which saw the purchase of a flock of sheep from Barbados to be reared by local farmers. This meat production is expected to satisfy the local market as well as Barbados’.

Other significant projects launched since August 2020 are the Cut Rose project, cage fishing, shade house production, Brackish Water Shrimp project, and corn and soya farms among others.

In February, the Region’s Ministerial Taskforce on food production and food security shared those countries such as Guyana, have significantly improved in large productions of ginger, turmeric, soya beans, fruits, cocoa, poultry, corn, fish, and meat.

Moreover, commodities such as cocoa, dairy, meat, root crops, fruits, and poultry have already reached production of 96.13 per cent, 84.36 per cent, 72.28 per cent, 70.91 per cent and 70.19 per cent respectively.