Santa Rosa Ground Coffee Project lauded

― Tremendous benefits for the Region

Santa Rosa coffee farmers in Moruca in the North West District, have been commended by Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe, for their commitment to the project. The initiative is expected to significantly contribute to the development of their families and ultimately their communities.

Minister Garrido-Lowe who engaged farmers on Friday said “I am very proud of you and I will also be proud when the coffee trees start bearing and you start producing and packaging ground coffee and of course supplying not only here but the Caribbean… This right here is history for you.”

Some fifteen farmers have been selected to execute this project, all of whom have been playing their part in ensuring this project is a resounding success. The farmers are caring for approximately twelve thousand coffee seedlings on a rotation basis in a nursery which was established in the village. Dr. Leroy Santiago of Mexico, a coffee specialist is assisting the farmers in this venture.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe and some of the coffee farmers in the nursery in Santa Rosa.

Toshao of the Santa Rosa, Whanita Phillips, lauded the Government efforts saying, “this is big for us, this is awesome and I’m very excited. I can see this project prospering. It will be massive I know that, and the farmers are very excited too”.

Sharing similar sentiments were several farmers who noted the significance of this initiative which is now being realised.

Solomon Abrams said “this is a good start in helping us earn from agriculture. I’m happy about it because I have my sons and they will help me. We never expected this would happen and it will come as a great help”.

Earl Rodrigues who is the youngest farmer remarked, “this is one of the best projects we have seen in this area. There were other projects that have failed because of bad management and as this project proceeds, we the farmers will look forward to continued support from the Ministry. In the next five years, I would like to see this project double because farmers will have a better idea how to manage it.”

A senior villager and a farmer Roy Atkinson noted that “we are learning so much and Dr. Santiago is training us how to take care of the plants. Minister Lowe and Dr. Santiago had this vision for the people of Moruca which will benefit us well into the future. No other Government has ever given us such a project and even the youths are being drawn to agriculture. In the long run, we will be able to start new projects which will in the future help us build our community”.

Assistant Regional Executive Officer Renita Williams said she was impressed with the initiative, “it is like bringing back something that was long gone from the community and many residents realise that it benefits the entire community. The interest being placed on this area for the past three years will go a far way.”

In a few weeks, the seedlings will be less susceptible to the natural environment and will be transplanted to well-prepared fields. The group of farmers also collectively decided on security arrangements at the facility which is critical at this stage in the life of the plants.

Moruca has long been known for its ability to produce coffee, however, this venture will ensure farmers receive triple dividends for their efforts since approximately twelve thousand seedlings will be planted by fifteen farmers, reaped and processed to supply both the local, regional and later, international markets.

“The APNU+AFC Government, I am proud to say, will continue to support green, sustainable, income-generating projects that will benefit the indigenous and hinterland peoples,” Minister Garrido-Lowe noted

The Santa Rosa Ground Coffee project, as well as other projects that are being implemented by the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs, is in keeping with Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy.

Story and Image: Alethea Grant.

Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs.

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