NAREI enhancing Extension Services in Region One

– Staff equipped with additional ATV, boat and engine

Other crops farmers in Region One are now accessing enhanced extension services thanks to the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) equipping staff with an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and a boat and engine.

NAREI has been working closely with other crops farmers to produce crops such as cabbage, ground provisions, tomatoes, fruits, and spices. However, to better service farmers the Institute has invested in the transportation capacity of Extension Officers tasked with conducting routing farm visits, Farmers’ Field Schools, Farmers Clinic and respond to emergencies.

Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Mr. Jagnarine Singh recently dispatched equipment to the Region. Extension Officers stationed at Moruca and Matarkai Sub Regions are now equipped a boat and engine and two ATVs (one new and the other refurbished).

Mr. Singh last week attended Region One’s Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Committee Meeting on Agriculture, Forestry, Mining and Lands and Survey. He was accompanied by Mr. Ramnarace Sukhna Research Scientist, Mr. Orson Sealy Regional Coordinator, Mr. Faron Pearson Research Assistant, and Mr. George Jervis Chief Technical Officer. The meeting was held in the RDC’s boardroom.

Mr. Singh during his presentation pledged to promote crop diversification with the objective to improve the livelihood of the people of the Region and also add value to crops such as turmeric and ginger so as to reduce imports of these commodities.

The CEO related that NAREI is currently procuring a turmeric boiler, ginger brush washing machine, ginger cutting machine and a multifunctional powder grinding machine which will be used to add value to the spices produced in the Region.

He also informed the Committee of NAREI’s response to acoushi ants affecting farms in the Region. “Apart from the distribution of 750 packs of ants bait that we will also provide Bomba pumps and fastac.”

Regional Chairman, Mr. Brentnol Ashley was optimistic that NAREI will soon be able to add more value to turmeric, ginger and black pepper. He was hoping that in his tenure that he would be able to see a sachet with the label “Northwest ginger or turmeric powder.”

The Committee’s Chairperson Miss Lepecha Benn expressed concerns about the availability of both seedlings and seeds in the Matarkai Sub Region. In response to these concerns, CEO Singh promised that NAREI Extension Officers will teach farmers how to generate their own seedlings through budding and grafting.

Mr. Singh and team visited a number of communities such as St. Dominic, Kumaka, Hosororo, Wauna and St. Anselm. The CEO during his interactions with farmers discussed the possibilities of expanding spice cultivation, value addition, reducing imports and establishing other spice factories. Farmers were encouraged to collaborate with other processors and business personnel to establish a spice factory to offset the anticipated increase production of both turmeric and ginger.