By Kurt Campbell
Agriculture in Guyana has for the most part remained conventional with local farmers staying true to traditional methods.
But with a renewed focus on growing agriculture across the region, there has been some acceptance of new and safer methods of planting.
With what some have called a ‘coming of age’ and a new chapter in agriculture, there remain several areas available for improvement and expansion.
Some 30 years after its entrance into the Guyanese market with a presence in almost every other Caribbean country, Caribbean Chemicals says it views its role as paramount to the expansion of the region’s agriculture systems.
The company has been among the major distributors injecting new products that are determined to be safer and effective in farming, but accepting these products means moving away from what has been established practices for decades.
A series of trials are currently being done by Caribbean Chemicals towards the successful introduction of new biological products that are deemed to be safe for both farmers (applicator) and the consumer (end-user).
Caribbean Chemicals is currently participating in the ongoing Agri-Investment Forum and Expo and has stayed true to its interest in educating local farmers and securing buy-in to changes.
Many of the new products set for introduction into the local market are on display at Caribbean Chemicals’ booth at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
According to the company’s Product Development Manager, Ravindra Singh, among those new products are a variety of seeds with high resistance to disease and pests but also seeds that guarantee high yields for farmers.
It was Caribbean Chemicals that some years ago also introduced the irrigation tubes, slowing the practice of farmers standing for long hours with a hose to ensure proper irrigation of their farms.
“Our role is to make life easier and safer for farmers,” he told the News Room.
One of the newer products which the company is pushing is the elixir fertiliser compound which Singh said is less harsh and dissolves well with a guarantee of high benefits.
Meanwhile, Francesca Perez, a Director at Caribbean Chemicals, told the News Room that the need to expand has never been more urgent, noting that the company now finds itself wanting to bring a better product to Guyana even as it looks to touch more people and areas.
“So many persons are now interested in where their food is coming from and at the same time, we want farmers to understand that there are so many non-traditional crops to be promoted and worked on,” she noted.
With trials ongoing, Perez said the company is looking to see where the balance is between what farmers are accustomed to and where the company would like to see the vision going with technology.
Caribbean Chemicals is currently representing major international brands like Excel Agri out of Miami and Omex out of the United Kingdom (UK) but the company has made it clear that with conventional products well established, it is not condemning those but only providing a safer pathway to the future.