Within the next two years, at least 30 acres of land in Regions Four, Five, Seven and 10 would be dedicated to breadfruit cultivation in an effort to promote food security and value addition. This is according to Dr. Oudho Homenauth, Chief Executive Officer of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).
He made this known during an introductory meeting between breadfruit expert, Dr. Laura Roberts-Nkrumah and several Research staff of the Institute at NAREI’s Boardroom.
Dr. Roberts-Nkrumah of the University of the West Indies’ Agriculture and Food Production Department was invited to Guyana by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on request of NAREI.
“President David Granger at the National Tree Day activity in 2015 indicated the importance of breadfruit…We did not wait on a directive…We started looking at increasing breadfruit production…But, to do that we needed quality planting materials…Also we needed to know what we have and so we approached the FAO for assistance in this regard,” he noted.
Dr. Homenauth recalled that that very year, the Institute acquired over 1,000 breadfruit seedlings from Global Breadfruit. While hundreds have been distributed to farmers in various Regions, NAREI will be cultivating a significant amount. This is to ensure the availability of affordable quality planting material since the current market price for a breadfruit plant is $3,000.
For the next two days, Dr. Roberts-Nkrumah, accompanied by a team from NAREI, would be visiting various breadfruit producing communities in Regions Four and Five. This activity would allow a firsthand look at the various varieties of breadfruit that are available locally. On Friday, there will be a practical session for the propagating breadfruit from root cuttings at NAREI’s Mon Repos location.