“While we focus on oil, don’t lose sight of the soil”- Director of Sports tells Baracara farmers

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, July 19, 2018

As Guyana prepares for the imminent oil and gas industry and the economic prospects it will bring, farmers of Baracara Canje River, Region Six have been urged to not lose sight of the economic value of farming.

During the visit to the riverain community on Tuesday, Director of Sports Christopher Jones said all of Guyana and those who will be involved in the production of oil will have to eat.  He was part of a delegation headed by Minister within the Ministry of Social Protection Keith Scott.

“You know Guyana has discovered oil and very shortly the world will be coming to Guyana for oil. As I keep saying, while we are focus on oil, don’t lose sight of the soil”, Jones said to the community.

Jones spoke of the importance of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Agriculture and ways through which the community can use it to benefit their local businesses.

Baracara is a farming community several miles up the Canje River in Region Six. The community has over the years been marketing its produce New Amsterdam. However, Jones said the horizon should be wider for Baracarians.

“Don’t depend on New Amsterdam as your only market, you have these small Islands including Barbados, St Nevis and St Kitts (among others) they need these commodities,” he said, adding that the availability of ICT could go a long way in this regard.

Head of the Baracara Cooperative Group Roland Amsterdam said the once flourishing community had faced several challenges over the years. The farmers then made the decision to move from farming to lumbering. However, that too faced challenges.

Amsterdam said it is the goal of the residents to have the community be the “food basket” of New Amsterdam and by extent the country. So, several farmers came together and formed the Co-op Group, with the objective of having it regularised. That was recently made possible with the help of the government.

“We are not going to fail you, we are going to use this meeting as a springboard for our development,” Amsterdam promised the residents.

By: Alexis Rodney

Images: Leroy Lyttle