Ongoing wheat trial in Region Eight yielding success 


Guyana’s Agriculture sector is poised for further growth and development with successes recorded in the ongoing open field trial to determine if wheat can be produced here, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha has said. 

A global shortage of wheat, stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has impacted many countries, including Guyana, prompting plans to grow wheat locally. 

The first trial was done on a small scale at the Burma Rice Research Station in Region Five. This was followed by an open field trial at Paramakatoi in Region Eight and plans to commence further production may be seen as soon as October, Minister Mustapha told the News Room on Friday. 

“We are now speaking with IICA [Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture], hoping that the technical guy from Embrapa [Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation] will be back in Guyana and we can start the preparations. We are very optimistic, shortly we’ll start it.”

“We have a small trial going on at Paramakatoi and they told me that it’s coming very well there,” the Minister said. 

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha during the launch (Photo Ministry of Agriculture August 5, 2022)

Mustapha explained that IICA is coordinating for the next trial to start. Several inspections were made for such production to start with tests being done in Region Five, Region Six, Regions Eight and Region Nine. 

Guyana is receiving support from Embrapa and the government is working with authorities in Mexico to determine the best quality of wheat that can be produced in Guyana.

Previously, Minister Mustapha said that due to Paramakatoi’s weather, it is possible that wheat can grow there. He explained there were 49 lines and each has the potential to become a variety. The standard method of breeding wheat cultivars is by crossing two lines using hand emasculation, then inbreeding the offspring.

In the meantime, the minister is also awaiting a second visit from the trial for quinoa production to start at Region Six. Minister Mustapha told the News Room that the ministry through the National Agricultural Research and Extensive Institute (NAREI) will support the team led by overseas Guyanese agri-business, Felix Quinoa Farming Industry (FQFI). 

“Remember I met with the group that came, they went to Berbice and had done an inspection and agreed on a pilot programme at Cumberland. I am waiting for them to call me back on that so they can start the pilot project. I have alerted NAREI and NAREI will be engaging with them,” Minister Mustapha said. 

In June, the FQFI team visited and held discussions with local authorities. According to the minister, the team has a land in Cumberland which they will be using to carry out the programme. According to NAREI, the soil can support the project, Minister Mustapha has said. 

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