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Region Nine poised to become major grain producer – President Ali

to supply country, regional markets with corn, soya bean

THE harvesting of acres of corn and soya bean in Region Nine, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, signals its readiness to be a significant producer of the grain.
During Heritage celebrations in the hinterland region on Wednesday, President Dr Irfaan Ali announced this.

The President spoke to residents from various communities and announced that the region will soon be a production hub and exporter of grain to the entire Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Region.

“Here in the region, we have been able to spend almost 500 million dollars in different villages to enhance your livelihoods and food security,” the Head of State said.
With Guyana expending close to US$25 million annually on proteins for the poultry sub-sector, the government, since being elected to office in 2020, has taken steps to promote domestic cultivation of grains such as corn and soya bean.

“More importantly, with the roads and bridges to Georgetown, a whole new market for production will increase. Region Nine will be important in producing and supplying grains not only for Guyana, but the entire CARICOM Region.”

The investments being made in this initiative will see vast employment opportunities being created for the indigenous community.
“This will create jobs for the transport and logistics, for mechanics, because we want to build a food infrastructure here in this region.”
“We have big plans…We have a vision for this region. A vision that will see the complete modernization,” the President added.
In a past interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha had said that the aim is to extend the farm in the Tacama Savannah to some 4,000 acres over a five-year period.

Soya bean being cultivated at Santa Fe, Region Nine (NAREI photo)

“In 2021, we would have [sic] started the trial of 125 acres and it was very successful and we harvested three tonnes per hectare, and that is aligned in getting the kind of production we want. Because of that, we said we will expand to 3,000-4,000 acres this year and we will continuously increase, so the next three years we can expand to 25,000,” Mustapha said.
In 2021, six local companies and a regional firm joined together to undertake a massive project that could see Guyana becoming self-sufficient in corn and soya beans over the next few years.

The owners of Guyana Stockfeed Ltd., Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and Bounty Farm Ltd., along with the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture, have partnered to produce soya bean and corn for both the local and regional markets.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to begin wheat-production trials in the Rupununi region.
This publication had previously reported that the open-field trial for wheat is scheduled to soon commence, at Santa Fe, North Rupununi.
Back in May 2022, Guyana received 49 lines of wheat from the Government of Mexico to start a trial phase. The indoor trial, which explored several varieties, was completed at the Burma Rice Station in Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).

Addressing the objective of the wheat trials in a previous interview, Minister Mustapha said the aim is to have Guyana become self-sufficient by removing dependence on imports.
Both President Ali and Minister Mustapha have been leading efforts in CARICOM to address the regional food- import bill.