Quiko Village undertakes large-scale cash crop cultivation in march to achieve Guyana’s food security goals

– Min Sukhai commissions Savannah farm 

Quiko, a small Amerindian village situated in the South Central Rupununi, Region Nine, has recently made significant strides towards achieving food security and financial stability by embarking on large-scale cash crop cultivation.

The four-acre savannah farm was commissioned by the Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai on Monday during her visit to the community.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, Regional Vice Chairman Bertie Xavier and Senior Councillor Ronaldo Ignatius at the four-acre savannah farm in Quiko

Crops such as sweet peppers, Bora, eschalot, and watermelon among others varieties are being cultivated on the savannah farm.

Quiko’s Senior Councillor, Ronald Ignatius during a short interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) highlighted that the hot meal programmes for school children will be supported by this project.

“Our main crop is cash crops as you can look around. We have eschalot…those crops that are cash crops to supply hot meals, private entities that do catering and so (on),” he further expounded.

While income generation is an important factor, creating employment opportunities for residents is another crucial element of the project.

some of the crops that are being cultivated

“(We are) creating job opportunities (by) having this large farm. We decided to employ persons in the community that have children attending secondary schools in order to have an income at the end of the day (and) other young people to have a knowledge of this farming (techniques),” the senior councillor said.

Ignatius noted that this initiative was conceived holistically by the community, recognising the importance of food safety and while they faced some challenges in its development, they were able to persevere.

Meanwhile, Minister Sukhai commended the leadership for the initiative and congratulated the village on their achievement.

This achievement was made possible through the provision of $9 million in funding made available through the sale of Guyana’s carbon credit under the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS 2030).

Revenues earned from the sale of carbon credits became possible after the government in 2023 signed a multi-year, SUs$750 million agreement with global energy giant – Hess Corporation – that will see 2.5 million in credits being sold to the company annually.

some of the crops that are being cultivated

The first payment of US$150 million was received in 2023. And, aligned with the commitment contained in the LCDS 2030, US$22.5 million (GY4.7B) was disbursed to over 200 Amerindian, hinterland, rural and riverine communities/villages.

This has allowed villages such as Quiko, to chart their own development and prosperity as well as achieve self-sufficiency by investing in priority areas such as agriculture, tourism, women and youth and other income-generating initiatives.

Quiko serves as an excellent example of how targeted investments in remote areas can have a positive and sustainable impact.