On Wednesday, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agriculture Development Authority (MMA – ADA) hosted its annual Open Day activity at its Onverwagt office during which some 128 leases were prepared and issued to farmers from Region Five.
The issuance of leases for lands for agricultural purposes is usually the highlight of the Open Day, which was hosted for the first time in two years due to restrictions brought on by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha while speaking at the event said, since taking office, the government has been steadfast in its efforts to restore the operations within the MMA Scheme. He also said that the government will continue to provide the necessary support to increase production in the area.
The minister also said the government was working to make have more young people involved in the agriculture sector.
“We have to encourage young people to get involved in agriculture. Many young people who have diplomas and degrees in agriculture are not actively involved in the field. We have to change that. This is why the His Excellency, President Dr. Irfaan Ali developed a company where hundreds of young people are now involved in the cultivation of high-value crops such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Through the Ministry of Agriculture, 300 shadehouses will be constructed around the country as part of this project,” he added.
Many farmers who received leases said that they have applied for some time and expressed thanks to the government for putting an end to their wait.
Vevekeanand Ramnarace, a 21-year-old student at the University of Guyana was one of the persons who received leases during the activity. Although he didn’t study agriculture, the young lessee said that he has always had an interest in agriculture, more so rice cultivation due to the fact that he grew up seeing his father in the fields planting rice to take care of their family. He said that he will utilize his two 18-acre plots to plant rice and continue in his farmer’s footsteps.
When the government took office in August 2020, Cabinet approved some $90 million to carry out emergency works on critical infrastructure in the MMA scheme. While speaking on this, Minister Mustapha said the government upon assuming office worked to reverse the unfavourable measures that were implemented by the previous administration.