The National Assembly on Wednesday sanctioned an additional $5.6 Billion for the Ministry of Agriculture to initiate multiple projects aimed at elevating the sector. Of this amount, $4 Billion is earmarked for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) to address critical drainage and irrigation tasks in several regions.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha informed the National Assembly of NDIA’s current expenditure status, stating, “We have a number of other projects that people are now requesting and we want to start those projects and ensure that we put systems in place to improve those projects.”
He elaborated on the specific tasks the funds will cater to, including desilting of certain drains, repairs at multiple locations, and excavations in specific regions.
The Guyana Livestock and Development Authority (GLDA) received an allocation of $100 Million for enhancing pastures in various regions. Highlighting the intentions behind the allocation, the Minister said, “We will be developing the pastures and we will fence it (the pastures).”
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) is set to receive $1.5 Billion. This will be used for rejuvenating lands in several estates. In discussing this, the Minister remarked, “We are seeing a 14% increase in sugar production already this year and I am hoping with the development of these lands…we have to retiling, replanting to bring up the hectares so that we can have enough cane.” He also revealed plans to reopen the Rose Hall estate by September and the re-employment of previously laid-off workers.
Under the current expenditure, $2.9 Billion was earmarked. The NDIA, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), and the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) are among the entities set to benefit from these funds.
Minister Mustapha went on to unveil plans under NAREI, mentioning, “And what we will also do is we are now embarking on something called tissue culture, we started it in experiment and we are just producing about 13,000 plants annually.” He elaborated on the Government’s collaboration with an Indian company for establishing a large-scale tissue culture lab in Guyana, which comes with a significant investment and potential for plant production.
Lastly, funds are allocated for creating several shade houses nationwide. Emphasizing their profitability, the Minister referenced the success of a shade house in Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.