Region Ten moving to agriculture self-sufficiency
DPI, Guyana, Monday, December 10, 2018
Region Ten has been allocated $3.9B in the 2019 Budget, an increase of $500Million over last year with an emphasis on increasing agriculture production as part of becoming more self-sufficient.
The Regional Democratic Council (RDC) has been pushing for increased agricultural production so as to strengthen its food security base and to limit its dependency on other regions. Regional Chairman Renis Morian highlighted that this is necessary for the provision of funding for agricultural projects throughout Region 10 since the region is gearing towards diversification in the various sectors.
Over 70 percent of Linden’s food consumption is imported into the town by farmers and vendors from Regions Two, Three and Five. With the plethora of trucks that enter Linden on a daily basis laden with fruits, vegetables and ground provisions, Linden farmers were placed on the back burner.
The RDC is cognisant of Region 10’s high dependency on agricultural produce from other regions and there is a fear of the reoccurrence of a scarcity of food which occurred in 2005 following the coastal floods.
The RDC will include agriculture as a programme head, giving it the priority and attention it deserves. Programmes to raise awareness on the importance of agriculture will be initiated, and technical and material support in the form of training, seeds and tools will be given to all those who take up the mandate to farm.
The RDC is also looking to support wide scale farming in the farming community of Dallawalla, something that has been stagnant for some time due to poor drainage and irrigation systems. Dallawalla was once the source of a significant amount of food that was produced in Region 10. The RDC will be collaborating with the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to revitalize farming in the community.
In addition to Dallawalla, the RDC is looking into other communities such as Christianburg, West Watooka and Wisroc. The National Agricultural Research and Extensive Institute (NAREI) has also indicated that they are lending support to the region.
One of the strategies the RDC will be embarking on is to establish a farmers’ market adjacent to the Wismar Municipal Market on Burnham Drive on weekends. A trial run exhibition was done in October and was well received. “If we can get a steady flow of food every weekend, that will help to build the residents’ confidence, that they could look internally for that food supply,” Renis Morian said. He is calling for all stake holders and local leaders to come on board to holistically push agricultural production in Region 10.
Story and Images: Vanessa Braithwaite.