The cocoa industry is currently being reengineered as the government aims to cultivate this crop locally and subsequently, market it as a tourism product to the world.
Speaking at the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) Annual Awards Gala and Auction on Saturday evening, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali revealed that the government is receiving assistance from an advisor who has immense knowledge of the industry.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the administration is also in talks with international scientists to aid in the establishment of cocoa nurseries here. “We’re speaking with scientists out of Brazil (and) India to come in and to establish the nurseries here so we can go on massive large-scale production because that must be part of a model,” the head of state conveyed.
This forms part of a health and wellness tourism product that President Ali has charged tourism stakeholders to explore locally, noting that the story of the products is integral to its competitiveness.
“Only two per cent of the world market comprise of Liberica coffee …So, we are now on a journey to rebuild the coffee industry,” Dr Ali pointed out.
Meanwhile, Dr Ali noted that persons in Amerindian communities will have to be trained as brand ambassadors for products.
The head of state earlier this month held a meeting with farmers of Region Two where they were informed that the Pomeroon has the potential to establish a large-scale coffee industry. Additionally, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha during an outreach in Region Two last year said the government will be testing cocoa and coffee production in the lower Pomeroon.
The Pomeron region is home to the Liberian cocoa which is one of the rarest cocoa seeds in the world.
The Ministry of Agriculture has partnered with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to restart the cultivation of coffee and cocoa there.
“We’ll make those plants available for free, and we’ll work with the farmers to develop the plots so that farmers in the Pomeroon can once again be the producers of coffee and cocoa in Guyana. This programme should commence within another month,” the minister was quoted as saying in a Ministry of Agriculture press release.