The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) is exploring the possibility of cultivating several crops which are currently being imported. One of those crops is Onion.
Head of the Research Institute, Dr. Udho Homenauth told News Room on Thursday at NAREI’s head office that Guyana imports up to US$ 1,459,765 in onions annually.
Following a pilot project which was done earlier this year with farmers in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and 10, the agency is now looking to increase production of three varieties suitable for Guyana’s climate; Mercedes, Red Creole and Texas Early Grano. To significantly reduce imported onions on the market, Guyana needs to produce close to 200 acres.
Dr. Homenauth pointed out that there is no issue with market or cost of production.
“Those who are involved in Onion cultivation will tell you that as soon as that onion is harvested, it is already sold…and in terms of cost of production…if its imported cheaper, it wouldn’t make sense for the farmers but fortunately has not been the case. There has been a great demand for the fresh onions,” he said.
Currently, 10 acres are being cultivated using the shading technique. The trials were conducted in the Mahaica River, Kara-Kara, Amelia’s Ward, Affiance, Parika, Hopetown and Benab among others under the Canadian funded Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project.
NAREI is also working with farmers to cultivate potatoes, carrots, corn, black pepper, and soybean among other crops, while crops which are already being produced in large-scale quantities are being converted to value-added products.