1200 tonnes of soya bean to be harvested soon – investor

Tacama Savannah soya bean investor David Fernandes (left) with President Dr Irfaan Ali during a previous tour of the farm

The 1000 acres of soya bean crop planted in Tacama Savannah by a public-private partnership are on course to be harvested in late March or early April, with an expected 1200 tonnes of soya bean slated to be harvested.
The soya bean is being cultivated by a consortium that includes Guyana Stockfeed Limited, Edun Farms and Bounty Farm Limited. Other investors are Royal Chicken, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture.
In an interview with Guyana Times, Bounty Farm Assistant Managing Director David Fernandes said, “We planted 1000 acres, so, we should have a decent crop. We anticipate about 1200 tonnes of soy bean.”
It was explained by Fernandes that this crop would be used strictly for livestock feed. He also made it clear that he was optimistic about the sector, notwithstanding some of the challenges initially faced.
“The logistics, the location where the farms are had little to no proper roadways, which the Government has now been correcting not only for us but for the timber men that work in that area. That is one that is being dealt with,” Fernandes said.
The large-scale trial cultivation of corn and soya bean by private investors was announced by the Government in 2021. In the feed industry, Guyana imports close to US$30 million in products annually. The aim is to not just attain self-sufficiency but establish the country as a net exporter of soya.
The key stakeholders in the massive corn and soya bean project include the Government, farmers, and private companies. The Government has played a crucial role in supporting the growth of the industry, with a commitment of over $1.2 billion to infrastructural development in the Tacama area.
Last year, the Government improved access to the area by constructing 40 kilometres of road, with the remaining seven kilometres scheduled to be completed in 2023. Additionally, the Government invested in a drying and storage facility for corn and soya bean which will be completed by the first quarter of this year, establishing the first such facility in the country.
In 2021, the Government started the trial of 125 acres of corn and soya bean, which showed major success. Previously, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha had said that the intention was to continuously increase production to cover at least 25,000 acres by 2025. The Minister had expressed the belief that the aim of becoming self-sufficient by 2025 was ambitious, but with the continued support of the Government and the Private Sector, it was achievable.
The Government’s investment in infrastructure and facilities is expected to significantly increase the yields and profits of farmers, and boost the country’s economy. Minister Mustapha has already announced his Ministry’s plans to start cultivating corn and soya bean in Moco Moco Village, North Rupununi.
The Ministry is also assessing the capacity in other regions, with the aim of taking the project there in the future. Meanwhile, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government has provided farmers with subsidies and training programmes to help increase their yields and improve their livelihoods.
In addition, the Government has also been investing in infrastructure such as irrigation systems and storage facilities to help farmers improve their crop management and ensure their produce reaches markets in a timely manner. (G3)