– activity part of Agriculture Month observances
Scores of citizens benefitted from seeds and seedlings as part of the Agriculture Ministry’s drive to boost food security and agricultural production in Guyana.
The distribution exercise was on Tuesday held at the Agriculture Ministry’s main office on Regent Street. It aims at fostering the establishment of kitchen gardens in every household.
Persons were eager to choose from a variety of seeds and seedlings which include guava, cherry, passion fruit, sweet pepper, ochro, and gooseberry.
Teacher, Monet Williams said, “I feel good because it is for our school, St Barnabas Special where we starting a garden and we want it for this purpose.”
Marcia Morrison voiced, “It’s a great initiative that the agriculture minister did in terms of growing more food for Guyana. And so, we can be the bread basket of the Caribbean. So, indeed it was a pleasure being here in agriculture month.”
Claudia Langfilly noted, “It’s a wonderful thing that’s being done because I feel that plants beautify the environment. But more so, with plants that give food, it will really help persons to see the need to grow more food for themselves.”
Another beneficiary, Deborah Dey said, “It’s always good to see that the government is doing this initiative. So, as you can see people are very happy to receive plants. I did receive from the last distribution drive and I purposely walked with the fruits of my labour we planted. And look I brought gooseberry, sorrel, and this is the white lady guava which you distributed right now. I’m so happy to be here today, again. So, I can expand my production.”
In his address, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha reiterated the government’s commitment to developing agriculture production, ensuring food security, and reducing the region’s food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.
“Today our role in food security is very important. We have seen what happened over the last two and a half years in terms of producing food around the world. We are very fortunate in Guyana that we are producing almost 60 per cent of the food that we are consuming, but as a government, we are not satisfied with that, we want to produce more. That is why we are encouraging every citizen. You live in the urban area to live in the rural area,” Minister Mustapha informed the gathering.
He noted that this is to promote the government’s plan to get everyone involved in agriculture.
“Today, Guyana is leading the Agri food system. Places like Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, they are looking forward to Guyana for leadership. And we are giving that leadership and we are working with CARICOM to reduce the food import bill of Caricom by 25 per cent by 2025…That is why as Minister of Agriculture, I would like to see once again we start back the process where every outdoor will have a kitchen garden where every single piece is a piece of land, we plan so that he can produce for our country produce for any reason,” he added.
Minister Mustapha noted that the seeds and seedlings distribution will be replicated across the region.
Agriculture month is being observed under the theme ‘Championing food security through innovation, investment and resilience.’
Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Jagnarine Singh and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd also attended the event.