Two students from Moco Moco, Region Nine have taken their places among the new batch of students enrolled at the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) and they will eventually be able to help the “struggling” rice farm in the village.
A statement from the Government Information Agency on Tuesday said the two were granted scholarships from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute.
GINA said that Minister of Agriculture Dr Leslie Ramsammy had committed to ensuring that the students received sponsorship to attend the GSA so that they can later contribute to the sustainability of their community’s rice and beans project. Early in the year, Dr Ramsammy had urged the community to select two youths to pursue tertiary education in this field, during a visit to check on the progress of the project, a report from the Government Information Agency (GINA) said.
“The Moco Moco farm has been struggling along, the first crop that was three four crops ago was very successful…but that was when the ministry was running it, so we did all the work, but the intention was for the community to own the project and so in transferring the project to the community it has struggled a little bit, and so we have been giving more hands-on support and in addition we are training their people,” Dr Ramsammy said. “That is the intent of the scholarship, to have people trained in the relevant skills so they could go back and reduce the dependency on the Ministry of Agriculture,” he said.
Another resident of Moco Moco who also benefitted from a scholarship through the ministry was trained as a mechanic at the GSA and is currently employed by the GRDB providing support for the maintenance of all the machines and equipment used in the rice and beans project. Repairs to the equipment outside of the scope of this resident’s training and experience are facilitated by experts from the ministry, the minister said.
According to Dr Ramsammy, Moco Moco is benefiting from the Barbadian agricultural investment at Santa Fe which has imported engineers and agronomists from Brazil, and consultants from other parts of the Caribbean. The ministry had asked that Santa Fe, through their engineers and agronomists assist the community in taking ownership of the rice and beans project.
“Government has continued to support the community’s project under which 30 acres of rice and 11 acres of beans are being cultivated,” GINA said. The GRDB has being supplying the community with fertilisers and other supplies and has provided the use of a tractor to advance the project.