Another 100 shade houses to push agri. production by next month
With the continued aim of boosting local agricultural production, another 100 shade houses will be constructed to help with the production of high-value crops at the shade house park in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
This is according to the Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha who spoke to reporters at the sidelines of an event on Wednesday.
About 76 young people have already joined a youth agricultural and entrepreneurial initiative spearheaded by President Dr. Irfaan Ali.
Through this initiative, they are currently producing key high value crops- broccoli, cauliflower and carrots- that Guyana spends millions on importing annually. And some 25 shade houses are being used.
“They’ve already started to sell those crops to places like the Marriott (hotel) and other places so there is a ready market in Guyana for those crops,” Minister Mustapha said on Wednesday.
Because of this ready market, he said that efforts are underway to build more shade houses. By next month, another 100 shade houses should be constructed at Mon Repos. Thereafter, further expansion is necessary.
“I am hoping that by the end of this year, we can have all 300 shade houses across the country and the company they formed- the One Guyana company- can start receiving their profits,” Minister Mustapha said.
The Agriculture Minister was keen on noting that while the government is investing in these shade houses, it is envisioned that the project will become self-sustaining. A shade house, he said, costs at least $2.5 million.
He also explained that young people from across the country are being recruited for this programme; with more recruits, shade houses will be constructed in other parts of the country.
Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for finance Dr. Ashni Singh, during the presentation of the 2022 National Budget, highlighted that a sum of $100 million has been allocated to the new youth agriculture project.