AS part of efforts to increase its artificial insemination capacity, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) is targeting the reproduction of 6405 offsprings by the end of the year. This was, on Tuesday, disclosed by the Ministry of Agriculture, during its handing over of ten breeding bulls to farmers and seven motorbikes and ten all-terrain vehicles to the GLDA to expand its extension services. The types of animals to undergo the artificial insemination process were not identified. In his remarks at a handing-over ceremony held at GLDA’s Mon Repos compound, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha stated that though simple, the occasion is significant. He explained that the vehicles and animals which were donated will help to boost the authority’s ability to address the needs of farmers across the country.
The minister noted that some $10 million from the 2020 emergency budget was expended to provide the vehicles and breeding bulls, which were donated. Over the years, the minister noted that the livestock industry has become one of the ministry’s most important subsectors and hence, more funds will be allocated to ensure that the authority fulfils its mandate. “This is a critical sector towards the development of the country. Also, it’s important for food and nutrition security and we will continue to place emphasis on this subsector,” he said. He also informed that more funds will be made available.
“We will place more funds [into this industry] because…what we are seeing are international investors knocking on the door of Guyana to come and invest in the agriculture sector, particularly [the] livestock sector,” Minister Mustapha said. He noted, too, that the goal of the ministry and its agencies is to build a partnership with farmers across the country by continuing field work. The vehicles that were donated will be distributed across Regions Four, Six and Nine to assist extension officers in meeting the needs of farmers in remote areas.
“GLDA will be more responsive to the needs of farmers. We are looking to revamp the operation to be more responsive. Many times we recognize in various sectors and in various agencies that some of our officers are not responsive are not working in that partnership with the farmers,” he explained. Further, he stressed on the need to change the present approach to partnerships.
“We have to change those attitudes. We have to change it and form that kind of partnership. If you want to develop our country, if you want advance the agriculture sector, then we can’t work in a vacuum, we can’t work in isolation from the farmers. We have to build a relationship. We have to build that partnership,” the minister said.