The Ministry of Agriculture would be expending $3 million in 2021 to commence the cultivation of corn and soya beans in Moco Moco Village, North Rupununi.
Expounding on this front was Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha. During a recent two-day outreach to Region Nine, Minister Mustapha told several farmers and villagers that his Ministry has earmarked three acres each for the cultivation of corn and soya bean in the village. He said that extension officers will host discussions with the Village Council shortly to determine where to start the production.

Toshao for Moco Moco, Mark George was keen to note that the village needed heavy-duty equipment if they were to venture into large-scale agriculture. He also said that farmers were willing to increase their cultivation but cited a lack of markets as a hindrance.

“Minister our biggest challenge here is markets. We can do so much more than we are doing now. For example, we have peanuts in people’s homes with no markets. We also need a tractor with a plough. We are grateful for the basic garden tools but we also need big tools so that we can do our cultivation in a smarter way and on a larger scale,” Mr. George said.

Responding to those requests, Minister Mustapha told the villagers that several tractors were being procured for the Region under the Ministry’s 2021 Capital programme.

“Your village leader also spoke about the tractor and plough. I want to assure you that, this year in our programme, we will be purchasing three heavy-duty tractors fitted with chippers and row plough. I want you to work with our officers to develop a programme for your community. We’ll put one of the tractors in Lethem and that machine will service this and other areas around Lethem,” the Minister said while adding, “We’ll also put one in the North and one in the South.”

Since taking office, the Minister was keen to note that he has made changes to the way several agencies under his purview operate. The New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) is one of those agencies. In this regard, the Minister said, “We had a change in management and the agency is now refocusing its efforts to act on the marketing aspect of its name. Only recently, several farmers from this Region had 50,000 pounds of peanuts and we were able to find a market for those farmers. These farmers were also paid with cash so you don’t have to worry about not being paid on time for your produce or being forced to barter as is often the case in this region.”

The subject Minister also told villagers that with the new agro-processing facilities being constructed across the Region, they would be able to benefit from better prices for their produce.

Minister Mustapha also disclosed that instructions were passed on to the National Irrigation and Drainage Authority (NDIA) to send an excavator to commence the digging of a fish pond. This he said comes on the heels of appeals from villagers to construct these facilities so that they could venture into aquaculture. The Minister said that those works are scheduled to commence before the end of the month.


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