Region Ten to get agro-processing facility

– farmers urged to expand agri practices

The Government will soon be establishing an agro-processing facility in Upper Demerara – Berbice (Region Ten) to increase the production of value-added commodities there. This is among several major agricultural opportunities that would be made available to farmers and residents.  

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha announced this initiative on Thursday, during a Cabinet outreach to the Region.

Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Agriculture

“We are now trying to secure a building in Linden to have agro-processors store and package their produce, so that they can have more valued-added product and to ensure they sell overseas and also out of Linden,” the Minister said, during the engagement at Watooka House.

He said the initiative would create employment and provide training opportunities for persons within the Region.

The New Guyana Marketing Corporation would also be engaged to provide assistance, even as the Government moves to revamp operations at the entity.

“We also have an initiative at NAREI where we have secured almost $15 million in shade house materials, which we are now selling at a minimal cost,” Minister Mustapha added.

Some Region Ten residents during the engagement on Thursday

Already, Government has awarded a $150 million contract to create a conservancy at West Watooka to provide adequate irrigation to cultivated lands.

Meanwhile, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall urged residents and farmers of Coomacka and its environs to expand and get involved in livestock and cattle rearing.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall speaks to residents during the Cabinet outreach to Region Ten on Thursday

“I want to encourage you to do animal farming; duck rearing, fowl, sheep, goats, cows, and also have pigs. You have all the resources here. Where we live on the East Coast and in Georgetown you can’t get a blade of grass, that’s the biggest challenge for farmers on the coastland. And here, you have so much lands and so much grass and so much greenery,” the AG said.

The Attorney General committed to making representation at Cabinet to seek ways in which assistance could be rendered to farmers in the community, even as he stressed the importance of being self-empowered.

“We also want to see an agriculture that is market-driven where we have investment coming to rural area to create job opportunity and food security, those are the long term and medium-term objectives of our Government. What we have done over the last few months since we have assumed office, some of the commitment that we have made in our manifesto we started to deliver. For example, we have reduced land rentals and D and I charges where no farmers are receiving disposable income, saving almost $210,000 annually,” AG Nandlall said.

Since taking office in August 2020, the PPP/C Administration has, among other supportive measures, reduced value-added tax on agricultural equipment, machinery, pesticides and fertiliser. It has also restarted several programmes, which were discontinued under the APNU+AFC Coalition.