Guyanese investors, Gov’t hope to supply entire Caribbean with black eye peas 

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As part of the Government of Guyana’s food security agenda, the country is preparing to supply the entire Caribbean region with black eye peas, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed on Monday.

The minister’s comments were made days after President Irfaan Ali announced the new crop cultivation that will start soon.

According to Mustapha, the cultivation of black-eye peas is supported by private investors and will be done in Region One (Barima-Waini).

“We have some Guyanese investors so we are looking at this production so we can produce all the needs for the Caribbean.

“We are looking to start some cultivation [and] we will look at areas in Region One, we are looking to build the facilities in Region One as long as the soil type is good there and we can start large-scale production in Region One for black eye peas,” the Agriculture Minister said.

Black-eyed peas grow best in well-drained loamy to sandy soils. They require a full sun location and shelter from strong winds. The ministry along with the private investors are conducting feasibility tests for cultivation.

He further noted that the government is investing millions into different production areas such as corn and soya. He said by building roads and silos in the Tacama Savannah, Berbice River, these facilities can be utilised for more crops such as black eye.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

“We have built silos, we have built wharfs, we have built roads in the Tacama Savannah to do the corn and soya that we have been doing…in region one we have the last ferry that was commissioned so we have enough transportation that can bring out cargo to Georgetown and Region One and Trinidad is very close that we can get transportation from Region One to Trinidad to export crops,” Minister Mustapha said.

The Government of Guyana hopes to reduce the US$6 billion spent annually to import foods and with the completion of a drying and storage facility at the landing, the plan will be on its way.  The new facility which is under construction at Tacama Landing along the Berbice River, will greatly boost the country’s production.

The cultivation and investment into multiple projects in the agriculture sector ties into to the 25 by 2025 agenda which the government hopes to become self-sufficient in food production.

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