US$4.5M hydroponics project launched for over 300 young people to access jobs

The US$4.5 million Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP) was launched for hydroponics farming in Regions Two, Five and Ten and will benefit over 300 young people.

This massive undertaking is being funded by ExxonMobil Guyana through the Greater Guyana Initiative, HESS Corporation, and CNOOC.

Guyana is advancing the implementation of a plethora of programmes and projects for the involvement of young people aimed at advancing the agriculture sector while contributing to their development and Guyana’s economy. 

Hydroponics farming will be conducted in Regions Two, Five and Ten

During the launch at the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, on Friday, President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali highlighted that this state-of-the-art, highly profitable, and innovative project is a true demonstration of unlocking an equal set of opportunities for youths in Regions Two, Five, and Ten. 

“We will be linking the output of this project directly to the markets…This project enables our young people to develop their skills in marketing, packaging, and promotion. They are not just growing crops but they are part of the ownership and profits. And they are part of the success story of these facilities,” he stated.

H.E. President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

These initiatives will harness the abilities of women and young people.

Dr. Ali implored the beneficiaries to be fully dedicated to these projects, as they are on their way to becoming investors, entrepreneurs and innovators in Guyana’s agri-food system.

“In three to four months, we are hoping to have these agri innovation and entrepreneurship centres established in Regions Two, Five and Ten. And before we get to the energy conference next year, we are hoping to have production coming out of some of these facilities.”

A section of the gathering at the launch of the programme

The head of state highlighted that there are two other projects to support this initiative geared towards including all sections of society.

 “So, right now we are working with scientists and innovators from IICA to determine how we can create the world’s most innovative farm for persons living with disabilities so they can own a production facility, to be part of the growth story. And they can be a part of us achieving the 25 by 2025.”

In this innovative approach, the president said Guyana wants to have 50 per cent of the new farms owned by youths and women, by 2030.

Government is ensuring that youths and women are empowered through these innovative and entrepreneurial programmes, through so that they can derive greater independence, confidence and empowerment.

With the agricultural food system changing at a rapid pace, President Ali said Guyana is focusing heavily on the advancement of women and young people because, “by the time we get to 2030, the modern innovative firms that will address the issues of resilience and sustainability must be owned by young people and women. That is the direction that we are going.” The president pointed out that this is the largest hydroponics project being undertaken in Guyana and the Caribbean.