BUXTON, Guyana (Monday, April 3, 2023) — Last Saturday, representatives from the Buxton-Friendship Farmers’ Group received a number of inputs and farming implements from the Ministry of Agriculture, intended to further encourage youth involvement in the agriculture sector.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, while offering brief remarks during the handing over exercise, said that he has been working with the group since he became minister, to develop agriculture in the village.
“When I became Minister of Agriculture, I visited the village and met with farmers and members of the group. The ministry has since been working with the farmers to improve the D&I infrastructure, as well as providing assistance in the form of farming inputs, planting materials, and implements. Today, I am happy to be able to offer additional support to this group, especially since it has young people actively involved. We’ve also, through our agencies, offered training and other technical support and we’ll continue to do so,” the minister explained.
He also noted that a number of drainage and irrigation works were done and are still ongoing, to ensure infrastructure is in place to minimise flooding and provide sufficient irrigation.
Chairman of the group, Leroy Hamer, said that the tools will be used to assist young farmers, as the group is now working to promote intercropping.
“We’re now focusing on young people, and these tools will help them because, even though they are farming, they have to get tools. These tools will contribute to that and help us to develop ourselves. Because we are doing long-term and short-term crops, these tools will really help,” he noted.
He further stated that farmers in the village benefitted from training on best practices for coconut cultivation from the ministry’s National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), in collaboration with the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI). As a result, the group is now looking to expand its farming practices to include coconut cultivation.
Minister Mustapha also committed to assisting the group with planting materials to commence and develop their coconut cultivation.
The items donated included: fertilizers, a mechanical tiller, forks, rakes, garden hoes, shovels, cutlasses, and files. The group comprises approximately 60 farmers, 30 of whom are young people.