GUYANA is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient in the cultivation of inputs for the livestock sector with additional investors expected to commence cultivation of corn and soya beans before the end of 2023.
Investors from Farmlands Guyana Inc. met with Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, on Tuesday, to discuss operations, as the company gears up to commence work on an initial 1,000 hectares of land in the Tacama Savannah.
During the meeting, it was disclosed that 700 hectares will be used to cultivate soya and the remaining 300 hectares will be used to cultivate corn. The company is expected to commence cultivation in November and hopes to increase its acreages to some 24,000 hectares in the coming years.
Last September, a technical team consisting of four technicians from Argentina and other officials from the company visited the area to conduct an assessment of the land to determine the logistics involved with transporting inputs and outputs, water sources and irrigation solutions, soil types, existing infrastructure such as roads, storage and drying facilities, varieties and types of inputs required to successfully cultivate corn and soya bean.
This is the second group of investors who have embarked on developing the industry to supply inputs for the production of feed for the livestock industry.
Local cultivation of corn and soya commenced in 2021 after President, Dr. Irfaan Ali challenged local investors to get involved in the cultivation of two of the main inputs for feed for the livestock sector.
During a trip to the Tacama Savannah back in September 2021, the Head of State said that sustainable food and agriculture are the country’s future and that the government will fully support the soya bean and corn project in Ebini which will help produce much-needed feed for the poultry industry.
Minister Mustapha said that the government has already invested hundreds of millions of dollars to support the industry. So far, works have been moving apace on the construction of facilities such as three 3,000-tonne silos and one 80-tonne-per-hour drying tower at the Tacama Landing.
In 2022, some $887 million was budgeted to carry out infrastructural works needed to support the large-scale cultivation of corn and soya bean.
Of that amount, $426 million was budgeted to complete the rehabilitation of 47 kilometers of a vital Ituni to Tacama farm-to-market road, starting from the junction of the Linden/Ituni road and heading east towards the Berbice River. In 2021, some $102 million was spent to commence rehabilitation works on the road.
Minister Mustapha said that, with the addition of another company in the large-scale cultivation of corn and soya beans, Guyana was well on its way to meeting its target of 25,000 acres in the next two years. (Ministry of Agriculture)