Millet trials to commence soon – Agriculture Minister
The millet grain
The millet grain

– exploration of other crops being discussed between Guyana, India

CULTIVATION trails for millet production will soon commence in Guyana as the country seeks to become a large-scale producer in the Caribbean.

In an invited comment to the Guyana Chronicle, in the aftermath of visiting India, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, said that the Asian nation is a global leader in the production of millets, and Guyana has been promised technical support to begin trials.

Meanwhile, Guyana has committed to making some 200 acres of land available for the exclusive production of millets.

“I have since met with the minister of agriculture in India and have requested that they provide the technical help needed, so very shortly, we will start the planting of millet officially,” Mustapha said.

Millets are a cereal grain group belonging to the Poaceae family, commonly known as the grass family. The grains are usually grounded into flour to make various foods.

While it may look like a seed, the millet’s nutritional profile resembles that of sorghum and other cereals.

Its high nutritional properties and resilience in adapting to hot and dry climatic conditions provide an affordable and nutritious option for addressing food insecurity.
Other areas of interest, such as cash crops, aquaculture, as well as sugar and rice, were also discussed, Mustapha said.

“We will be looking at our entire crop section where we can get help with the technical aspect at NAREI [National Agricultural Research and Extension institute], had discussions about hemp, where we are looking to get some technical expertise. We had discussion in almost all the major areas of agriculture, aquaculture, rice, sugar.”

During a virtual address at the two-day Global Millet Conference in New Delhi, India, earlier this month Guyana’s President, Dr. Irfaan Ali, highlighted that India is the largest millet producer globally and is also assuming global leadership in advancing the objective of addressing one of the world’s most foremost challenges which is food security.

Based on India’s proposal, 2023 was declared the International Year of Millets (IYM) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Dr. Ali said Guyana is considered an ideal ecozone with optimum conditions for the growth and development of millets. The country’s warm climate allows for a conducive soil temperature that is essential for the sprouting and germination of the millet seeds based on the minimal soil and climatic requirements.


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