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The Success of High-Value Crop Investment under Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

Dear Editor,

The Ministry of Agriculture in Guyana, under the dynamic leadership of Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, has brought about a transformative change in the agricultural sector with a renewed emphasis on high-value crops production. This strategic shift has not only breathed new life into the sector but also highlighted the shortcomings of the previous APNU-AFC administration's agricultural policies.

Since taking office, Minister Mustapha has prioritized high-value crops such as cassava, ginger, coconut, and pineapple, among others. This focus on high-value crops is a departure from the previous administration's emphasis on traditional staple crops like rice and sugarcane.

One of the most notable achievements of the new administration has been the establishment of the Guyana Agricultural and Marketing Cooperative Society Limited (GAMCOOP), which aims to provide farmers with better market access and fair prices for their produce. This cooperative has already started operations in regions three and four and is expected to expand to other regions soon.

Another significant initiative is the establishment of the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) to provide training and education to farmers and agricultural workers. This institution will offer courses in modern farming techniques, agribusiness management, and other relevant areas to help farmers increase their productivity and income.

Minister Mustapha has also prioritized irrigation and drainage infrastructure development to ensure that farmers can produce crops throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions. For instance, the ministry has started the construction of a new irrigation scheme in Region Five, which will benefit over 500 farmers and cover an area of 3,000 acres.

Moreover, the ministry has implemented several programs to support small farmers, including the provision of inputs such as fertilizers and seeds at subsidized prices and the establishment of farmer groups to facilitate collective marketing and bargaining power.

The results of these initiatives have been impressive. For instance, according to the ministry's data, cassava production increased by 30% between 2019 and 2020, while ginger production grew by 50% between 2018 and 2019. These crops are not only high-value but also have significant export potential, which can help boost the country's foreign exchange earnings.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Agriculture under Minister Zulfikar Mustapha has made significant strides in revitalizing the agricultural sector by focusing on high-value crops production, providing farmers with better market access and fair prices, and investing in irrigation and drainage infrastructure and agricultural education. These initiatives have already yielded positive results and have the potential to transform the sector and improve the livelihoods of farmers and rural communities in Guyana.


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Published 48 days ago

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