Overseas investor to set up greenhouses, grow berries near Linden/ Soesdyke highway
An overseas investor is seeking to grow berries near Guyana’s Linden/ Soesdyke highway, as part of efforts to reduce Guyana’s substantial food import bill, President Dr. Irfaan Ali has said.
“After the agri-investment forum, we now have a proposal that will use mined-out sand pits on the highway to produce berries (such as) strawberries,” President Ali told farmers in Region Five (Mahaica- Berbice) recently.
He added, “… in another few weeks they will be coming here.”
Berries are among the fruits imported for years because local conditions have not been as suitable for their growth. For example, strawberries are grown in cooler temperatures that Guyana experiences.
But President Ali said that the investor intends to harness science and technology advances to facilitate the growth of berries locally.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, on Wednesday, provided additional details on the project. He told the News Room that the investor plans to construct several greenhouses in the mining pits.
“If you get a greenhouse, you can control your temperatures (and irrigation) in a greenhouse rather than in an open field.
“So they can groom the plant how they want to produce the fruits that they want.”
Because of available greenhouse technology, the Agriculture Minister dismissed concerns that the commercial production of berries in Guyana is not a feasible pursuit. He also said that other investors have an interest in similar projects.
The production of berries is part of a wider plan to increase Guyana’s food production, thereby reducing a substantive food import bill.
Importantly, Guyana’s efforts are part of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) plans to cut its more than US $5 billion annual food import bill, and prevent countries from experiencing food shortages due to a dependence on extra-regional imports.