FAO donates agriculture tools to agri. ministry aimed at boosting food production

As the government remains committed and supportive of farmers and farmers’ groups to increase food production, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) donated various agricultural tools to the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday. 

This move is aimed at further modernising the sector while improving the livelihoods of farmers countrywide. 

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

Among the items donated are 500 plastic crates for fruits and vegetables, 300 knapsack sprayers, and 20 tillers with spare parts.  

These items were procured for the ministry by the FAO under the FAO and World Food Programme Joint Development Emergency Programme for Food Security and Livelihoods Resilience in Guyana.

The handing-over ceremony was hosted at the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.

FAO’s Representative, Dr Gillian Smith handing over agri. inputs to Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

During brief remarks, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha commended the FAO for partnering with the ministry by providing assistance and resources to small-scale farmers, which will help to modernise their farmlands.

“This, here, will go a long way in helping rural communities and that is what we are doing. We are trying to modernise the agriculture sector,” the minister noted.

Recently, Minister Mustapha distributed farming implements to several Amerindian communities to support their agricultural food systems.

Tillers

This also helps to bridge the gap between the coast and hinterland regions, as they too will benefit from the same resources to improve their livelihoods.

Minister Mustapha relayed that, “Many of those villages need inputs like these. Those far-flung communities across this country. What we are doing when we give them these items…to develop their communities. We have been building a number of agro-processing facilities in these communities. We are trying to bring them on par with farmers on the coast to contribute and increase their income.”

Knapsack sprayers

FAO’s Representative, Dr Gillian Smith noted that FAO is always pleased to collaborate with the ministry on its initiatives as it continues to intensify efforts to support farmers.

“We are really pleased to finally have the delivery of these and we want to pass them on immediately so they can go to use.”

About two years ago, Dr. Smith emphasised that FAO had the opportunity to participate in a sustainable development goal project, which is a joint project supported by the World Food Programme and the United Nations to promote efforts in agriculture.

FAO’s Representative, Dr Gillian Smith

“And we immediately came to the Ministry of Agriculture to ask how is it these resources can support agriculture work being done in Guyana. We came up with the idea that these are inputs that can support especially small farmers who need a little bit of extra support, considering the changes in global food prices and crises that affect every single country,” Dr Smith said.

Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Jagnarine Singh, World Food Programme Representative, Gregory Munene, and other officials and staff of the ministry were also in attendance.

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