Home News Berbice pumpkin farmers seeking new markets
With tons of pumpkin being reaped daily, farmers in the Berbice River community of De Veldt, in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne) are hoping that government would finally come to their rescue, as more and more pumpkins are left to spoil from lack of export.
What was once known to be a booming business for farmers in the area has suffered a severe blow and residents, particularly those whose livelihoods depend on farming, are once again calling on Government to assist in the acquisition of markets for their produce.
Pumpkin cultivation and exportation have been the main source of income for many families in the community; however, incidents of cocaine being discovered in pumpkins has negatively impacted on the exportation of the produce.
“The residents there now need new markets for the pumpkin. People are planting lots of pumpkin and not getting markets for it”, Lucien Christopher, a farmer and captain of one of the few passenger boats on the New Amsterdam route said.
The farmer explained that, because of the type of soil and the growing market for the vegetable, pumpkin had become the main crop planted in the village. He did note that other foods such as corn, pine, and banana are also harvested there.
Lamenting on the current state of affairs, which he blames on the exporters, Christopher said, “It’s not the farmers you know, it is the exporters who put the cocaine in the pumpkin and because of that the farmers are losing”.
Christopher said that it is his belief that the community has been receiving insufficient attention from the Government.
“These villages like Sand Hills and Kimbia get all of the attention. And Kimbia, which is considered a very far village from New Amsterdam is just 25 miles farther from here”, He complained.
Speaking to Guyana Times recently, the farmer revealed that while he has been in contact with the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), he is also trying to secure his own market. He said he has finished his part here and is awaiting word from partners overseas.
He assured that the pumpkins being planted by farmers in his village are not “fertilizer pumpkin” and are of good quality.