After successful trial, 1,000 acres of soya bean under cultivation
The first Soya bean trial cultivation at the Dubulay Ranch, which is located approximately 70 miles south of Georgetown along the Berbice River, has been dubbed successful and the second crop is under cultivation.
This project is being undertaken by a group of local investors under the name “Tacama Gold”. The investors are the owners of Guyana Stock Feed Limited, Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch and Bounty Farm Limited, along with the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture.
David Fernandes, the Assistant Managing Director of Bounty Farm Limited on Tuesday told farmers at Kwakwani, Region Ten that after the first successful trial, which the Agriculture Ministry said had 495 acres of soya bean sowed in 2022, the large-scale trial cultivation commenced. Fernandes was speaking at an outreach spearheaded by Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha.
“We have already finished one crop and we have already planted the second crop of 1,000 acres.”
“We believe that because it has been so successful that in these areas and Savannah lands in Region Ten we could possibly get two crops a year and we will for sure by 2025 see the demands for all soya bean needs in the country come from Guyana,” Fernandes said.
The harvesting is scheduled to take place in March and adds to the Government of Guyana’s aim of Guyana becoming the food capital of the Caribbean.
The collaboration came after President Dr. President Irfaan Ali met with the group and proposed a public-private partnership to commence the production of corn and soya beans, two of the main ingredients in livestock feed.
As part of the 2021 national budget, some $500M was allocated to improve the requisite infrastructure to support the project. Thus far, it has set out to improve access to farmlands for the cultivation of the soya bean.
Major contracts, totalling $251,440,000 were last year set aside for the construction of 25 kilometers of road at Tacama, Region 10 (Upper Demerara – Berbice) to provide access to over 30,000 acres of savannah lands. However, the end of year report by the Agriculture Ministry states approximately 40 kilometres of the road was completely constructed at Tacama.
This has greatly assisted the trials, Fernandes said. He added that Guyana has to become self-reliant, especially with the after effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said with the success of the soya bean trials, the country is progressing in that direction.
“Because of COVID we found that becoming self-reliant as a nation is very critical for us to succeed,” he said.
Fernandes also encouraged the school children who were in attendance at the outreach to become involved in agriculture. He said there is new technology being used in the sector.
“We are the most sophisticated technology. The tractors work with auto steer meaning that they work hands-free so you programme the tractor to run on their own. They run on GPS lines. This is kind of like innovation at a different level so the young people that are interested in it could be a part of it,” Fernandes explained.