Massive boost to corn and soya bean production
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

–As Silos, drying tower to be completed by May 2023

WITH much focus being placed on reducing the Caribbean’s hefty food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, Guyana will soon ramp up production of corn and soya bean as the construction of three 3,000-tonne silos and one 80-tonne-per hour drying tower at Tacama Landing, along the Berbice River, are set to be completed in May of this year.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, told the Guyana Chronicle, on Sunday, that once those facilities are completed, more livestock feed production is expected.

“Once that is completed, we will have more time to take it to the feed mill so that we can make it into feed. We have a consortium that we are working with to make the feed for the livestock for the country,” the Agriculture Minister said.

With Guyana expending close to US$25 million annually on proteins for the poultry sector, the government, since being elected to office in 2020, has taken steps to promote domestic cultivation of grains such as corn and soya bean.

The country will not only become a supplier to the regional market, but it also expects to become self-sufficient in producing its own feed for livestock.

“From the next crop we will have the silos, soon we will be reaping 1,200 acres; hopefully by next crop we can increase that to 3,000 acres and with another three years we are hoping to expand and become self- sufficient by 2025. This is in line with the President’s initiative in helping to reduce the food import bill in Guyana and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM),” Mustapha said.

In a past interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Mustapha had said that the aim is to extend the farm in the Tacama Savannah to some 4,000 acres over a five-year period.

“In 2021, 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.

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.

Meanwhile, works on the Ituni to Tacama road in Region 10 were recently completed, further opening up over thousands of acres of farmlands for cultivation.

In July 2022, 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), promised improved access to thousands of acres of farmlands, including those lands used in the cultivation of corn, soya and sorghum, among other produce. More infrastructural improvements are expected to be made in the Tacama area to facilitate the further expansion of the corn and soya bean production.


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