–as work wraps up on Ituni to Tacama road
WORK on the Ituni to Tacama road in Region 10 has been completed, opening up over thousands of acres of farmlands.
In July, a $251.4 million contract was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Associated Construction Services for the rehabilitation of this road.
The project which fell under the purview of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), will see improved access to thousands of acres of farmlands, including those lands used in the cultivation of corn, soya and sorghum, among other produce.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, at the time of the signing, said that the road will provide for an increase of production within the respective farms.
“These are large projects that people have made representation for and we are hoping that these projects can help us to ensure we enhance production,” he had said.
Additionally, the completion of this roadway is also expected to result in the reduced cost of production owing to an anticipated reduction in transportation costs.
In a previous interview with the Guyana Chronicle in September, Minister Mustapha had said that works were in progress to extend the farm in the Tacama Savannahs to some 4,000 acres.
“Last year, we would have started the trial of 125 acres and it was very successful and we harvested three tonnes per hectare, and that is aligned in getting the kind of production we want; because of that we said we will expand to 3,000-4,000 acres this year and we will continuously increase, so the next three years we can expand to 25, 000,” Mustapha said.
He further related that if the government is able to further expand production within the next three years, the country will not only become a supplier to the regional market, but will also be self-sufficient in producing its own feed for livestock.
“Now if we can move to 25,000 acres, this means we will be self-sufficient two times per year and we will also be a net exporter,” Mustapha said.
Meanwhile, soya bean at the Dubulay Ranch at Ebini along the Berbice River will be ready to harvest in the coming weeks.
In 2021, six local companies and a regional firm joined together to undertake the massive project that could see Guyana becoming self-sufficient in corn and soya bean over the next few years.
The owners of Guyana Stock Feed Ltd., Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and Bounty Farm Ltd., along with the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture, have partnered to produce soya bean and corn for both the local and regional markets.
With Guyana expending close to US$25 million annually on proteins for the poultry sector, the government since taking office has taken steps to promote domestic cultivation of grains such as corn and soya bean.
Construction of the foundation and installation of a corn and soya bean processing plant will commence in the second half of the year and is expected to be completed by February 2023.
The processing plant will provide a drying and storage facility for the corn and soya farmers in the Tacama area.