With agriculture being one of the major players in the generation of revenue in Guyana, a number of technical employees in the country’s agricultural sector began training in the area of planting technology.

The four-week course, which began on Saturday, last, is being offered by the Ministry of Commerce of China through the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (in Guyana) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Specialised lecturers in the field of cassava and vegetables, sugar, and rice have arrived from the foreign country to offer their expertise to technical employees of the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDG); the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo); and the University of Guyana.

At the end of the course, participants are expected to transfer the knowledge learnt to end-users such as farmers.

In addressing the gathering yesterday at a ceremony held at the Guyana School of Agriculture, NAREI’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Oudho Homenauth, said that discussions on the course started more than a year ago between representatives of the two countries.

“This exercise started more than a year ago where we would have had intense discussions between representatives from China and our personnel here before this course was finalised,” Dr. Homenauth said.

Rice and sugar were selected because these are the two main commodities produced in Guyana while cassava was chosen because it is a major source of food security, especially in the hinterland communities.

China is offering the course on cassava because “the country is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in respect to cassava production. They produce approximately five million tons of cassava annually and cultivate 300,000 hectares,” NAREI’s CEO explained.

He added that because the country is so advanced in technology, they used 60 percent of the cassava produced for industrial purposes. The CEO urged his staff, especially those from hinterland communities, to pay keen attention since this course can provide new information in cassava production, pro-harvesting, and industrial processing.

Meanwhile, Hanming Hu, representative of China, said that his country has enjoyed diplomatic relations with Guyana for a long time and has offered support in the health, educational, and agricultural sectors.

In 2018, he said, a memorandum of understanding was signed on the training course presently being offered. Later this year, another course will be offered in the field of soil and gas development.


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