President Dr Irfaan Ali announced yesterday that a processing facility will be built at Bonasika Creek to support farmers with the enhancement of their production of ginger and other vegetables.

The announcement comes on the heels of a high volume of ginger production in the community and the challenge of finding markets.

President Ali said the community, which has accelerated ginger production in recent years, has been able to produce 240,000 tonnes of ginger annually.

“We are going to build in this area a processing facility so we can take the fresh ginger, dry it and crush it. It will extend the storage time from weeks to months and access higher value markets.”

He also told residents of Lower and Upper Bonasika Creek and neighbouring villages, during an outreach to the Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) community, that the intention is to create a production system that integrates all communities in the area in the formation of a “processing hub”.

He stressed that these measures would enable persons to go beyond the traditional methods of farming and food production, thereby building and creating wealth.

“The conversation is changing now. It is no longer about only producing food. It is how we now translate production into storage, add transportation to it, create higher value and access more markets.”

The President said the integration of communities in food production is integral for “large-scale production”.

The construction of the facility, he noted, will support the Government’s vision for beyond 2025 and the future economic growth of the community.

The Head of State also disclosed that he was particularly pleased with the manner in which the community has been using investments in agriculture to their advantage.

“You are making use of the investment we’re making and we are proud of this. But we have to triple this production, and we are going to support you in tripling this production,” he said to a loud applause from residents.

Through agricultural support, which includes drainage and irrigation, the small riverain community has been able to produce a high volume of fruits, cash crops and tubers. Over the last few years, close to $1bn has been spent on drainage and irrigation projects in the community in support of over 300 farmers.

“I know you have produced about 50 tonnes of bananas, more than 200,000 pounds of pumpkin and in cassava and other kinds of provision, you have produced more than 120 tonnes…We want to be able to move to large-scale production here,” the President asserted.


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