Hydroponics project could start mid-October – Minister Mustapha

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Thursday evaluated the ongoing infrastructural works on the much-anticipated hydroponic project, which is being integrated into the current shade house project at the National Agricultural and Extension Institute (NAREI), Mon Repos, East Coast of Demerara.

The project is being executed by the Israeli Company, KARLICO Inc. The systems are being developed for the cultivation of high-value crops including fresh herbs, lettuce, and other green vegetables.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha and other officials interacting with the project manager of the hydroponics project

Minister Mustapha told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the high-value crops that will be cultivated in the hydroponics system will be exported.

As part of the project’s first phase, a 2,000-square-metre, cutting-edge system will be set up by the company. The system comprises a cold room, packaging space, harvesting tools, irrigation controllers, fertiliser mixers, a water recycling system, and emergency water storage.

Ongoing works on the hydroponic project

“According to the manager here, he said that mid-October, they should have plants in these 2,000 square metres. There will be lots of hydroponics techniques that will be used here to produce leafy vegetables. They will export out of Guyana in the Caribbean and North America mostly,” Minister Mustapha underlined.

The project will use a three-phase hydroponic production system based on nutrient film techniques and soilless production systems, with an estimated cost of US $15.750 million.

Inside of the hydroponic project at Mon Repos

Minister Mustapha noted that last October, the government was in discussions with several investors from Israel who had expressed interest in developing a large-scale hydroponic project.

“This came about from the last Agri-Investment Forum and Expo we would have had last year. This was one of the companies that indicated that they would come and invest in this country,” the minister disclosed.

Back in December 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was inked between the government and the Israeli Company, KARLICO Inc. for the development of the major project.