Vehicles for small-scale farmers as IDB gifts Agriculture Ministry $1.4B in equipment
Farmers across the country were Tuesday gifted vehicles valued over $1.4 billion to assist them with accessing their farmlands and ramping up production.
The Ministry of Agriculture received the equipment from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) on behalf of the farmers.
The vehicles will later be distributed to agencies under the ministry’s umbrella in every region where the farmers will then have access to them.
Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha, the ministry’s Director General Madanlall Ramraj, and the Resident Representative of the IDB, Lorena Solorzano-Salazar were in attendance at the handing over ceremony at the Ministry’s Regent Street location.
Six pick up vehicles valued at $68.5 million were donated along with six all-terrain vehicles which cost $10.8 million, six outboard boats and engines valued at $59.1 million and 24 off-road motorcycles which cost $10.4 million were among the items gifted to the ministry.
Solorzano-Salazar said this donation is part of the Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme and will greatly improve the country’s agriculture sector and reduce the country’s food import bill by 25 by 2025.
“Extension services are known to greatly increase the activity and income to low-income farmers. That’s why this component is relevant. The component is also to strengthen Guyana’s agricultural sector in innovation and extension systems. We know access to extension systems are often costly for small farmers, especially in terms of distance, the facility, and getting access from the farm to the market,” the country representative said.
Solorzano-Salazar said that extension teams have a major role in ensuring that farmers can support the country’s objectives for the sector. She also reminded that the equipment will provide farmers with much-needed access to their lands, especially in rural communities.
“The extension strategy will provide services that aim to assist farmers with access to their farms and to develop the production. It also provides support to improve food security and rural livelihood and promote agriculture as an engine of proper economic growth,” she said.
The minister in brief remarks said that extension services play a critical role in ensuring that farmers are able to carry out their production with guidance for best practices.