A Guyanese of “Brazilian heritage with strong connections”, Jeanne Disarz, is seeking to establish an Integrated Agriculture Venture which would see among other things the cultivation of corn and soybean in the North Rupununi, Region 9.
Disarz has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) for an environmental permit to proceed with her project titled JOHIL Green Farms.
According to an EPA advertisement last week, the project seeks to adopt modern agricultural technology and systems currently being used in Brazil to cultivate dry savannah lands. It’s expected to be implemented in four annual phases with first year capital investment being pegged at more than US$3.3 million.
Approximately 3978.35 acres of state land located on the Manari, Right Bank Takutu River, Rupununi is proposed to be developed for the cultivation of Rice, Corn and Soya as well as the rearing of Livestock and Aquaculture, the EPA stated.
It further explains that rice would be cultivated on approximately 2,000 acres in phased blocks of 300 to 500 acres annually while the remaining lands will be used for the cultivation of soya and corn, rearing of livestock, aquaculture and infrastructural works.
The ad acknowledges that the intended activities will possibly have an impact on the environment including loss of biodiversity, land degradation and water pollution.
In keeping with the legal requirements an Environmental Impact Assessment is to be conducted and the EPA is inviting members of the public to write them with their questions and concerns.
Disarz has meanwhile noted in her submission to the agency that JOHIL is expected to find a ready market for its soybean as the Rupununi is expected to see a dramatic increase in in the production of cattle, sheep and other small ruminants in the very near future.
With this increase the demand for livestock feed would be significantly increased and transportation would make more costly the currently imported soybean option.
She explained that the project is expected to utilize land previously held by the Manari Cattle Company. It will be situated closer to the North Western extremities of the ranch in the vicinity of Lamaparina Lake within the North Rupununi and be bordered by the Takutu River to the west.
Notably the project proposal explains that the project will be utilizing water from the surrounding rivers and creeks such as the Takutu River to irrigate the plants, especially the soybean during the prolonged dry season.
Specifically it notes that the land will be irrigated by using large pumps to move water from the Takutu River to various sections of the project via canals.
“A network of canals will be constructed to facilitate irrigation and drainage of the land…these canals will be small ditches dug into the land,” the proposal notes.