Region 1 farmers in need of training – agriculturist

Region One (Barima-Waini) farmers are calling on the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) to offer much-needed guidance as an aid to support farmers in that region in proper farming techniques.
Farmers are asking for training and other resources to be introduced in the area, since residents there depend wholly on farming for their livelihood.
Agriculturist Brijesh Singh, during a recent visit to the Region, disclosed that farmers there were in dire need of proper guidance as to the correct farming techniques.
In an interview with Guyana Times on Wednesday, Singh expressed surprise that farmers were not planting cassava in the appropriate manner and it was observed that the farmers, particularly those at Moruca, plant the entire stick when cassava is commonly cultivated from cuttings coming from the stick.
“I was surprised. I could not believe that these farmers do not know how to cultivate the cassava the right way and they said they never learnt this. NAREI needs to do more work with farmers in getting them up to speed with farming techniques and so on,” he said. He said the farmers welcomed any training that could be offered to them by NAREI at this point so as to improve their way of cultivating their crops.
“These farmers are open to learning about proper cultivation of crops. They are excited and would accept and welcome such at this time,” Singh said.
He added that with cassava being a premium staple crop in Moruca, it was disappointing to learn that these farmers were not familiar with proper planting techniques and as a result, he worked with farmers to plant cassava that is drought tolerant. Over the weeks, farmers in the regions have called on NAREI to do much more work in those farming communities to offer training as well as assistance in identifying and treating diseases that have been destroying their crops. Farmers had also made calls for urgent intervention by the Guyana Water Inc in bringing relief to them as they continue to suffer the harsh effects of dry weather.

Coffee Project
Meanwhile, Singh also concluded work on the coffee cultivation project in Moruca, which is expected to provide multiple benefits for farmers and the economy of the communities there.
The Moruca farmers are caring for approximately 12,000 coffee seedlings on an effective rotation basis in a nursery which was established in the village. Fifteen farmers are executing the coffee project and also have security arrangements at the facility, which is important at this point in the life of the plants.
Moruca’s fertile land has long been known for its ability to produce coffee; however, this venture will ensure farmers receive triple dividends for their efforts, since the seedlings will be reaped and processed to supply the local, regional and later, international markets. This initiative was lauded by the farmers and residents of Moruca, since it will provide great economic benefits for them.
A farmer, Trevor Phillips, who spoke to this publication Wednesday, said that the project was progressing effectively and expressed optimism that it would be a continuous one which will bring much-needed economic opportunities for the community. He said too that over the years ground coffee production there had declined and this was a step in the right direction. “I personally am excited about this initiative. It is a good one. It’s been over a month now since this project started and is going well and there will be tremendous benefits for farmers and the community as a whole. I am excited about it and the project will be a continuous one,” he said.
The Santa Rosa Ground Coffee Project, as well as other projects that are being implemented by the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, is in keeping with Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy.