Mustapha: employment opportunities, non-traditional farming initiatives available for Reg. Three residents


Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha is encouraging residents living in Region Three (Essequibo – Islands West Demerara) to take up opportunities in the government’s part time jobs initiative and non-traditional farming.

The minister, during a recent engagement with farmers and residents at the Essequibo Islands Secondary School, said a major focus in ensuring Guyanese benefit from the country’s development is job opportunities.

There is a massive skills shortage that the government is trying to rectify through training but in the interim, the government in 2022 launched a part time jobs initiative. This initiative makes way for unemployed persons to sustain their livelihoods.

“For the first time in the history of our country we are seeing a new category of persons being employed…I’m very proud to tell you that just over three years we have delivered on all our manifesto promises to the people of our country,” Minister Mustapha said.

The government has surpassed its goal of providing 20,000 scholarships to Guyanese with more than 21,500 persons benefitting from the GOAL Scholarship in 2023. He added that over 60 persons living in the region are benefitting from the initiative.

Residents of Wakenaam, Region Three during the outreach.

“That’s the way we try to make economic opportunities available to the people of the country. This budget, we will see a number of benefits,” the minister said.

Minister Mustapha encouraged farmers to consider other areas of farming aside from rice and sugar.

“We want more production, we want Guyana to be a food hub, and we want Guyana to be the chief producing country in food.

“We have expanded coconut cultivation in this country over the last three years by 6,500 acres we are now annually producing over 40,000 coconut nuts. Coconut is the third most lucrative crop in this country and easy to maintain… we have to go into new crops and create new things. We are encouraging farmers to move away from the primary production,” the minister said.

A section of one of the bins at HCIL’s nursery with some of the Brazilian Green Dwarf coconut variety. (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

The high-yielding Brazilian green-dwarf coconuts that farmers are currently expanding production on is expected to significantly boost the country’s economy. Now, the government is urging farmers to take up opportunities in non-traditional farming and value-added products.

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