Inspired by the national and regional drive towards food security, local company – Farmlands Guyana Inc. (FGI) – is looking to put into cultivation next month, 500 acres of corn and soya beans (250 acres of corn and 250 acres of soya).
This company owns 25, 000 acres of land in the Ebini area, located up the Upper Berbice River in Region 10.
With just two years left on the clock for the region to accomplish its goal of slashing its food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, Farmlands Guyana Inc. (FGI) hopes to put the entire 25, 000 acres of land into cultivation in the coming months.
Its market focus starts with the opportunity presented by the more than 15 million people living within the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) who spend more than US$5 billion on food annually.
This project supplements existing corn and soya beans cultivation in the growing agriculture hub of Region Ten and aims to help Guyana achieve its national goal to also be self-sufficient in grain production by 2025.
“Planting will start in November. The plan will be to double our current production until we achieve 100% usage of our allocated acreage,” Company Representative Abigail Welch told the News Room during a recent interview.
Welch said startup operations are going well with plans to employ locals from the area to commence work on a machinery shed and farmhouses.
“It’s been good, we have gotten the support of the government through the Ministry of Agriculture.
“We have not experienced any difficulty in the procedural aspect,” Welch said while pointing out the support the company has received from the government such as tax concessions and special incentives on imports.
“FGI anticipates it would be a prominent participant in the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector. Our business model, therefore, creates opportunities for technology transfer, the introduction of new farming techniques to Guyana and the absorption of local labour,” Welch added.
She said there are plans to get into the value-added aspect of the business in the future. The company is currently participating in the ongoing Agri-Investment Forum and Expo at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Guyana’s corn and soya bean production has been on the rise, with the government committing to the cultivation of these crops in the intermediate savannahs in order to become self-sufficient by 2025.
The commitment to expand cultivation of these crops is also in keeping with the government’s manifesto promise.