NARI to get boost for supporting agricultural development
Guyana Chronicle
February 15, 2007

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SEVERAL major initiatives will be undertaken this year to boost research capacity in support of agricultural development locally.

The execution will be by the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) which is mandated to increase productivity and improve the quality of crops and livestock for domestic use and export, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

GINA said it is expected that soil characterisation activities will conclude in Regions Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam) and Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) by June, to ensure the proper and effective use of fertilisers.

This exercise includes collection of soil samples, which are taken to the NARI laboratory for analysis, after which the farmers are advised and provided with technical information, allowing for identification of problems facing them and solutions, GINA explained.

The agency said another initiative will introduce new crops and production systems to rural communities in places such as Mahaica Creek, Black Bush Polder, Linden and Parika Back.

In addition, drip irrigation will be introduced at Linden, St Cuthbert’s Mission, West Coast Berbice, Black Bush Polder, St Ignatius and Annai by March.

GINA said that is the slow application of water to the soil through small openings on lines that are laid along the cultivation plot and it is being promoted for year round production of fruits and vegetables

More emphasis will be placed on the production of cashew, herbs and spices and rambutan especially.

But focus will also be on the spreading of the Greenhouse methodology which creates the ideal conditions for all kinds of agricultural produce because it ensures that plants are not affected by high wind, pests, excessive cold or dry atmosphere, GINA said.

The agency said there would be proliferation of research to meet the specific needs of farming communities based on feedback from the Extension Services Unit to be set up in the Agriculture Ministry shortly.

GINA said other research plans include establishment of a genetic plant facility, development of pasture at St Ignatius, purchase of laboratory equipment and integration with outside laboratories on animal and plant health.

All the actions are in keeping with the government’s plan to ensure further growth and expansion of the agriculture sector also through technology transfer to help farmers increase production, the agency said.