Expanding market for produce key to farmers’ survival -Agri minister

The Ministry of Agriculture on Sunday held a farmers’ open-day and mini-processors’ expo at the Parika market to determine how to further expand the market value for produce.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release the event coincided with the calendar of activities planned to observe Agriculture Month and Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud said expanding the market was the ultimate objective of the event.

The minister explained to the farmers and other stakeholders the New Guyana Marketing Corporation’s (GMC) role in providing support services for farmers to tap into the export market. He also told them that he intends to address the issue at a meeting to be held in Miami, and expects to persuade potential buyers to “come in and work with our farmers in this regard.” The minister said an aggressive export drive is the key to farmers’ economic survival.

Persaud also lauded the work of processors who have been pioneers for other establishments. He said government initiated a number of infrastructural projects, some of which are ongoing in Parika, to add the necessary services for stakeholders to tap into the market. In this regard Persaud alluded to the $80M pack house and cold storage facility which is set for a year end completion. The facility will be complemented by the construction of a wharf estimated to cost $100M and to facilitate easy ingress and egress of export produce.

Persaud was accompanied by a team comprising Region Three Chairman Julius Faerber, Director of the National Agriculture Research Institute Dr Oudho Homenauth, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority Lionel Wordsworth and GMC General Manager Nizam Hassan who interacted with the stakeholders during the exhibition.

GINA said several activities were held to highlight agricultural development and support for farmers, during the month including a two-day field session on tropical greenhouse technology at Green Farm at Land of Canaan.

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