With all the talk about oil money many people would like to see a big portion of it going into agriculture. This is a wise suggestion because agriculture is the backbone of the country.
I would like to see money going to develop the Pomeroon, which was once a bread basket. The Pomeroon has the potential to feed Guyana and the region and could save us a hefty food bill each year. Lately it has become like a gold rush, where Mr Roopan Ramotar took up 1000 acres for cultivation: 400 acres for plantains, coconuts and bananas; 40 acres for vegetables and other crops; 400 acres for rice and citrus; in addition to 60 head of cattle.
Most of these lands had poor drainage and had been abandoned, but Mr Ramotar saw an opportunity and ventured into virgin lands. Today he is reaping boatloads of plantains, bananas, citrus, mangoes, coconuts, tomatoes, boulangers, etc. He has now moved one step further towards producing bottled coconut water, where he has a large overseas market. His manufacturing plant is at Land of Plenty, where his rice mills are located. He has one of the shortest bearing coconut crops; a bunch has over 75 coconuts which can supply his plant daily. If the government truly wants to invest in agriculture it should choose Pomeroon.
Some oil money should be invested in rice since it has the largest acreage of land on the Essequibo Coast ‒ 35,500 acres, with a yield of 50 bags per acre. It would be wise to bring plant breeding experts from India to breed a new variety where the farmers can reap 75 bags on acreage prone to blast disease and 85 bags on clay lands.
Other farmers in the Pomeroon should take their example from Mr Ramotar who left the coastland to pick up farming and till the soil. It was not an easy job, because he had to cut down the bushes and open new drainage with his hymac and drain digger, but he won out in the end.