—President Ali says gov’t will work with community to increase red bean production
PRESIDENT, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has said that Pakuri Village (St Cuthbert’s Mission) will be a model for integrated farms for small communities across the country and that the government will help to expand its ongoing agriculture projects.
The Head of State made this disclosure during an impromptu visit to the community as residents celebrated the village’s 134th anniversary, on Saturday. During the visit, the President also inspected ongoing agriculture and infrastructural works.
Dr. Ali said: “I will say in another year, this community will be a model community for integrated farms, and to show how small communities can be an important part in the food production system and can be an important part of the whole ecosystem of producing food not only for themselves.”
The community has embarked on an agricultural project on approximately 12 acres of land, where they are constructing an 80×40 shade house that will be used to grow high-value crops. They are also planting red beans on approximately 10 acres of land.
President Ali explained that when he visited last year, he made several commitments that, from his inspection, have been met. In addition to those commitments, the President said that there are other initiatives that are essential for the further advancement and development of the community.
This, he said, will include another commitment to partnering with the village to increase its current red beans production by 25 acres.
The President also noted that the community will be supported by the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) which will provide the market for their produce.
“We are building a country in which all of us will be proud. There will be no conversation in the world on energy security without the name Guyana mentioned. There will be no conversation in the world on food security without the name Guyana mentioned, and there will be no conversation in the world on climate security without Guyana being mentioned. That is what we are doing. We are providing global leadership, we are providing regional leadership, we are placing Guyana on the global agenda,” the Head of State said.
The President emphasised that Pakuri is “an integral part of our development agenda” and that no community would be left behind.
Dr. Ali: “Whether you’re on the highway, whether you’re in the hinterland, the riverine community, you’re in an urban centre, we are going to go there, we are going to meet you. This is my third visit to this community and every single community we are trying to visit, every single community we’re trying to get into because we want to hear from the people themselves.”
The President also explained to the residents that in addition to the agricultural projects, the government will partner with the community, to train residents and use their skills and labour to construct concrete roads for the community. This project, the President said, will start within the next two months.
He added that the community’s ICT hub will be connected to the internet within the next four weeks and a team from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) will return to the community to inspect and improve residents’ access to water.
“We are also going to work with you on the development of your tourism sector. Not only the guest house that is under construction for the backpack type of tourism, but I believe that on the landing, we can have some eco lodges, where families can come and rent those lodges, proper state of the eco lodges that will support your development here,” Dr. Ali said.
The President said that the aim is to have the community “self-sufficient” by the end of next year in the production of food. To make this a reality, he explained that the government will work with the community on the Black Giant Chicken project to ensure that all of the eggs that are used in the community are produced locally.
He also noted that the government would ensure that the community benefits from sporting activities.
The Head of State said: “One of the other things that we’re going to work with you on is to set up an all-weather surface for sports. We recognise that in the community itself, we have to bring people together and we know that we have climatic challenges. So, we’re going to work with you on setting up a hard surface, an all-weather hard surface to support sports, like volleyball, basketball, and so on.”
The Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat was also a part of the visit.