Mustapha wants more technology used to improve extension services, meet food agenda


In efforts to boost the country’s food production, some 230 extension officers attached to the Ministry of Agriculture will soon use a new structured system that is focused on the use of technology and better collaborations with farmers.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha on Tuesday told the extension officers that the Ministry has undertaken a new structured approach that will see apps developed for extension officers to better communicate among themselves. The officers are undergoing training until June when the new structure will take effect.

Importantly, the government hopes to use more technologically advanced equipment for farming. Therefore, the extension officers will play a major role in ensuring that farmers are guided for the use of these equipment.

“Gone are the days when we do things in a routine way or we think that we are in a job just to go and look at the farm and leave it.

“We have to encourage the establishment of modern forms and increased use of technology that holds up so we are more efficient with our farm practices,” Minister Mustapha said.

The head table at the training event (From left): Wilmot Garnet, the country representative for the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr Gillian Smith, the country representative for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha, Lorena Solazar, the Country representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Madanlall Ramraj, the Ministry’s Director General (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/ may 9, 2023)

He said that many investments are being made into projects that will improve transportation and logistics as well as the country’s standards and traceability. Hence, Mustapha said there needs to be more robust and coordinated extension and advisory services system in place.

“This system should be equipped with the latest technologies and knowledge to ensure that farmers are aware of the best practices and methods to enhance the productivity and profitability,” he said.

The extension officers who work along with over 6,000 farmers, commenced the training at the Police Training Centre, Camp Street, Georgetown. According to Director General Madanlall Ramraj, the training is timely and will assist in enhancing the sector and provide a plan for the development and growth of the sector. He noted that the extension system has evolved and it is being reformed to achieve a more responsive approach.

A section of the extension officers gathered at the Police Training Centre on Tuesday (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/ May 9, 2023)

This unit which comprises of officers from the Ministry’s agencies are geared to provide technical support, knowledge and guidance to farmers. Now the system will be under one management which is tasked with ensuring that resources such as vehicles and other utilities will be managed to benefit all who utilise this service.

In addition, the extension officers are advised to be more approachable. This allows farmers to be comfortable to not only reach out but also share ideas that can advance the sector.

There has been massive support by international organizations to advance the agriculture extension in Guyana. This project is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Lorena Solazar, the country representative of the IDB said that extension services are a primary aspect for the process of technology dissemination and that improved extension units pave the way for low income farmers, women and communities to benefit from better production and farm yields.

She further assured that the extension officers will get the support of the IDB.


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