Agricultural support for Reg. 8 boosted with $38M investment

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In a bid to improve its extension services in far-flung areas of the country, the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), on Friday, commissioned a brand new office building and an ATV in the village of Paramakatoi, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni).

The construction of the building was executed to the tune of $36,822,665 while the ATV was procured at a cost of $1,995,000.

The building, which forms part of the agency’s 2020 capital projects, will be used to house NAREI’s extension staff as well as to conduct training for farmers and other persons in the village who are involved in agriculture-related activities.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha hands over the keys to the ATV to a village representative. Also pictured are MoA’s Director General Madanlall Ramraj & NAREI CEO Jagnarine Singh (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

While delivering remarks at the commissioning, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said that the government is working to ensure the agriculture in hinterland areas benefit from the same level of development as the coastal areas.

“These are the kinds of investments that the PPP Government is making. We are not only making investments in urban areas and on the coast. Large investments are being made in hinterland areas to serve the communities and develop the agriculture sector.

“We’ve also commissioned a brand new ATV so that our extension officers in these areas can better serve the communities. This shows the government’s commitment to developing the agriculture sector in all parts of the country.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha along with some of the farmers from Paramakatoi who benefited from grants (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

“Agriculture is playing a leading role now in our country and, as a government, we are making a lot of funds available to develop this very critical sector,” Minister Mustapha said.

The projects also saw the construction of a fence, a security hut, the installation of perimeter lighting, utilities work, as well as furnishing.

Following the exercise, Minister Mustapha toured a shadehouse that was set up by the research institute. The shadehouse, which is located in the compound where the office is located, will ensure quality seedlings are made available to villagers.

While in the region, Minister Mustapha also spearheaded the government’s ongoing flood relief which saw approximately 340 farmers benefiting from close to $29 million in relief grants. During that exercise, Minister Mustapha encouraged the farmers to use the grant to return to that land.

Farmers who received the grant thanked the government for the assistance, as many of them would’ve lost their crop. Farmers in the village are known to cultivate mostly ground provisions such as cassava, yams, and eddoes. (Ministry of Agriculture press release)

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