Irish potato pilot project showing promise -NAREI

The 90-day potato trial project is currently in its eighth week and showing positive results, GINA said yesterday.

The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the World University Services of Canada, Caribbean, (Guyana) Incorporated, collaborated to plant five different varieties of Irish potatoes on a quarter-acre plot in Little Biabu, Mahaica Creek.

The project is being executed and funded by the Government of Canada through the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) Project.

Chief Executive Officer, National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute, Dr. Oudho Homenauth (right), examines the plot where the potato project is being facilitated (GINA photo)

The pilot project at Little Biabu started in January and is expected to be harvested at the end of April, GINA said.

The varieties of potato cultivated are Spunta, Kennebec, Chieftain, Bristol Pride and Shepody, with the Bristol Pride showing excellent yield and growth.

On Tuesday, a fertilisation and harvesting session was carried out for farmers.

Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr. Oudho Homenauth, was reported by GINA as saying that this is a successful trial of Irish potato cultivation. He noted that a similar project was carried out at Laluni on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway but the cultivation failed due to flooding.

Potatoes harvested at eight weeks from the pilot project (GINA photo)

Dr. Homenauth said that since there are signs of success, it is only a matter of time before similar projects are rolled out in neighbouring communities. Guyana imports large quantities of various types of potato each year.

Bhagwan Persaud, the farmer on whose land the pilot project is being carried out, said that he is interested in expanding production. The farmer said that potato was never cultivated in the area and could be another major crop coming out of Little Biabu.

GINA said that the objectives of the potato cultivation trials are to identify  areas on the coastland of Guyana which are suitable for the production of potatoes among other things.

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