–with donations from NAREI, GLDA
THE Ministry of Agriculture and, by extension, the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), on Wednesday, donated a number of planting materials and broiler birds to the North Georgetown Secondary School’s Agriculture Science Department.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, during the official handing over of the planting materials, pledged to support the students throughout their various agriculture-related projects and studies.
Additionally, he said that NAREI, through its extension department, will also be assisting the students with technical assistance while conducting their School-Based Assessments (SBAs).
The minister further expressed his delight in the interest of Agriculture that is being shown by young people.
“You know, many times we have the idea that agriculture is mostly a minimum job and agriculture is for the mature population. I am happy that the students here from the agriculture department are very interested in developing the agriculture department in this school and, hopefully, they can excel in the agriculture field and move on,” Minister Mustapha said.
With the renewed interest in agriculture, the ministry will soon be launching a programme to produce value-added crops at schools across Guyana.
Minister Mustapha also told the students that the ministry will also be donating feed and a shade house to assist with their Agriculture Science activities at the school.
The students received 256 cabbage seedlings, 256 celery seedlings, 128 lettuce seedlings, 128 tomato seedlings, and 50 broiler chicks.
Meanwhile, the head of the school’s Agriculture Department, Benjettan Osborne, related that the donations will help to ease the financial strains of the students and their parents.
He related that students would often pool whatever ‘pocket money’ they have to offset the cost of the materials needed for their projects and practical assignments.
“We don’t have much funding at the school when it comes to agriculture. When [we] have practical the students have to pool monies in order to get things bought, to buy seedlings, to buy birds, to buy feed,” he said adding:
“We are still in a pandemic so we know a lot of parents lost their jobs and can’t afford extra money, so getting the donation helps to minimize the financial strain in terms of doing agriculture,” Osborne said.