Guyana asegura la seguridad alimentaria con la iniciativa "Cultivar más", afirma el Ministro Persaud
Another effort to modernise the agriculture sector, more specifically the rice industry was realized today when two 10- tonne seed dryers were commissioned at the Rice Research and Extension Centre, Burma, Mahaicony, Region 5.
Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud who was present at the commissioning underscored the importance of the rice industry, which has been touted as having tremendous potential.
He said that Guyana's vast tracts of productive land present enormous opportunities for growth and can only be realized through hard work and dedication.
The new dryers are a part of an ongoing process to modernize the rice industry and the wider agriculture sector in Guyana.
“I don't want our sugar farmers, our livestock farmers and the fruits and vegetables farmers to feel left out because Guyana has already embarked on a comprehensive programme to modernise the sector,” Minister Persaud told the gathering.
Reflecting on other advancements, inclusive of the Skeldon sugar factory, Enmore packaging facility and improved breeds of livestock, Minister Persaud said these are but a few of the advancements to be introduced into the sector.
In pointing out some of the advantages that can be derived from new technologies, Minister Persaud noted that “every single day close to 10MW of electricity is produced by the Skeldon factory and goes into the national grid and those of you who live in West Berbice may not know that most of the power supply in West Berbice comes from the factory.”
In addition to this, Government will be investing in the construction of a state-of-the-art veterinary laboratory and abattoir.
Minister Persaud while outlining some of the other progress that was achieved in the agriculture sector made mention of the two recently commissioned state-of-the-art tissue culture laboratories.
“With tissue culture lab we will be able to get the best type of plant in required amounts in less time,” Minister Persaud said.
While updating farmers on the effects caused by the prevailing weather phenomenon, Minister Persaud said the agriculture sector must be modernised and upgraded in keeping with current needs and technological advances in an effort to override such challenges.
He noted that the challenges facing the rice sector are dynamic in nature and that new technology will help farmers to adequately respond to such eventualities as wet conditions.
The plan to modernise the station is in keeping with the Administration's promise to offer an improved quality of service to rice farmers, and in the coming years the non-existence of such technology will create distractions for the agriculture sector.
With regards to the on-going advancements in the development of new rice varieties and proper management practices in the industry, Guyana recorded an increase in rice exportation.
Last year it exported 335,000 tonnes of rice and this is projected to increase by 32,000 tonnes this year notwithstanding the impact of La Nina.
“Close to 78,000 hectares of rice was cultivated for first crop this year,” Minister Persaud said.
“Likewise for the fruits and vegetable sector, last year we recorded an increase not only in production, but export, by close to 35 percent,” he told farmers.
While urging farmers to maximise the use of the new technologies in the sector, said that too often farmers take these interventions for granted.
In addition, he said as the Government seeks to creative ways to divert attention from traditional crops, more investors have expressed interest in large scale production in Guyana.
Minister Persaud said that his Ministry is at present engaged in a nationwide drive to ensure that farmers experience minimal loss due to the adverse weather pattern.
In closing Minister Persaud told farmers that a wide array of opportunities now exist to improve productivity for value-added rice products, such as breakfast cereal.