The cultivation of corn and soya in the Tacama Savannah has attracted the attention of new investors. In fact, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha met yesterday with the team of investors from Farmlands Guyana Inc. who will commence cultivation in November.
During the meeting, it was disclosed that some 1,000 hectares will be cultivated initially; 700 hectares of which will be used to cultivate soya and the remaining 300 hectares will be used to cultivate corn. They are currently sourcing equipment to commence their operations this year.
Last September, a technical team consisting of four technicians from Argentina and other officials from the Farmlands group visited the Savannah area to conduct an assessment of the land to determine the logistics involved with transporting inputs and outputs, water sources and irrigation solutions, soil types, existing infrastructure such as roads, storage and drying facilities, varieties and types of inputs required to successfully cultivate corn and soya bean.
The foregoing efforts would no doubt complement those being done by a group of local and regional actors. In 2021, six local companies and a regional firm joined together to undertake the massive project that could see Guyana becoming self-sufficient in corn and soya bean over the next few years. Specifically, the owners of Guyana Stock Feed Ltd., Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and Bounty Farm Ltd., along with the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture, partnered to produce soya bean and corn for both the local and regional markets.
In 2021, the partners started the trial of 125 acres and it was an absolute success. Because of their outstanding output, plans commenced to expand to 3,000-4,000 acres while continuously increasing to 25,000 over the next three years.
The construction of three 3,000-tonne silos and one 80-tonne-per hour drying tower at Tacama Landing, along the Berbice River, is expected to help with the acceleration of production. Those facilities are set to be completed in May.