Minister of Amerindian Affairs Pauline Sukhai and USAID Mission Director Carol Horning lauded the success of the farm established at Hararuni as a model they hope will be replicated in other villages.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release Sukhai, Horning and officers from the ministry and USAID went to inspect progress at the farm which was cultivated under the Guyana Trade and Investment Programme (GTIS) supported by USAID. The farm currently produces butternut squash, onions, bora, cucumbers and sweet peppers.
Sukhai said the project is a model that ensures both food security and agricultural expansion in a sustainable manner. She noted too that its yield will be of immediate benefit to the people of Hararuni, Soesdyke and in other regions. The minister noted too that the project is simple, cost effective, blends agriculture and technology with the use of the drip irrigation technique and as such it would appeal to young people. Sukhai also opined that as long as the markets are guaranteed, projects in the agriculture sector will succeed.
“This project is going to transform the village economy. I see it as laying the foundation for transforming the economy of the villages which is mostly subsistence. It will also lead to the involvement of the resource that reside within the villages … there are productive activities that can be successful that will engage the human resource in the village in addition to raising income,” she said. Government’s policy to advance and support agriculture diversification is supported by the Hararuni project which demonstrates that a small community can promote its own development and food security.
The USAID Mission Director also lauded the success of the year-old project. “The project has transformed the community from one that produced only traditional crops into one that currently uses low cost, technologically advanced methodologies to produce quality crops that are in high demand,” Horning said. She too said that agricultural diversification is a good way to promote economic growth and create jobs and since Guyana has ideal conditions for agriculture, it can supply the Caribbean with its agricultural exports. Horning said she hopes that the project will have a ripple effect and that other villages will want to replicate it.
Project Manager of the Hararuni project Vivian Fredricks said that in order to minimize mistakes, all employees at every level of the project are trained to use fertilizers; and chemicals for pest and weed control. USAID Agribusiness Technical Leader Nir Dahan provides the training.