Reg. 9 farmers to boost production as Agri. Ministry launches Improved Support Programme

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The Ministry of Agriculture on Saturday launched its Agriculture Improved Support Programme aimed at offering critical support to hinterland villages to boost agricultural production.

The programme is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development under the ministry’s Hinterland Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Development (HESAD) Project.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha launched the programme in St. Ignatius, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) which saw farmers from approximately 16 villages benefiting from $22 million worth of agricultural inputs and genetic improvement material.

Minister Mustapha, while offering remarks at the exercise, said that the government was committed to ensuring farmers in every part of the country benefit from the resources available.

Some of the farmers who benefited from the inputs

“The agriculture sector is the only sector that can ensure a country has food security. As a government, we are aiming to be a net exporter of food and become the center of production in this part of the hemisphere, especially in the Caribbean. We believe that Region Nine has the potential to produce more and make a valuable contribution to our national production goals,” the minister said.

He further stated that the government was working to make the necessary resources available to enable farmers to boost production in hopes of one day satisfying local and regional demands for agro-processed commodities and high-value crops.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha along with farmers from several villages in Region Nine who benefited from the inputs

Last August, President Dr Irfaan Ali, while in the region, said officers from the agriculture ministry would be working with communities to develop their food security strategies in a way that will make their food production both resilient and sustainable.

Farmers from the villages of Shulinab, Meriwau, Sandcreek, Awarenau, Mururanau, Rupanau, Katoonarib, Baitoon, Potarinau, Quiko, Parikwarinau, Aishalton, Shea, Baitoon, Taushida and Koshebai (South Pakaraimas) benefited from breeding bulls and boars to improve their villages’ genetic material; cassava sticks; coconut seedlings; shadehouse materials; a tractor and implements which included a cassava planter, harrow, a disc plough and a roam plough; as well as an ATV.

The ministry also signed a contract with the Sand Creek Village Council valued at $4 million for the implementation of a cassava germplasm bank and the supply of farm tools support for the region.

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