The Guyana government announced on Friday that four Cuban experts will help indigenous communities grow and increase their production of honey. On the closing day of the yearly National Toshaos Conference, President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced that his administration had promised to train 150 members of indigenous communities in food security and agriculture.
Ali stated, “We just yesterday agreed to invest in four Cuban specialists who will come to Guyana to work with you in the communities to build out and expand the honey industry. We also want to create a common brand of honey that is associated with Guyana’s rainforest and that can be marketed as a specialized product. He told the conference that the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) will also be working with the Ministry of Agriculture in launching an initiative to support organic honey production.
President Ali said that GUY$300 million (One Guyana dollar=US$0.004 cents) will be included in the next national budget to develop food security and agriculture as those have been identified as one of areas of priority for the indigenous communities.
Ali said a unit will also be set up to deal with hinterland food security and production. “We want you, every single region, to identify young people, yourselves, who can be trained to become vets, agriculture support staff, extension officers and we are going to train them, we are going to pay for their training and send them back to the communities to work full time with you,” President Ali said. “We are willing to immediately train 150 of your young people, from your regions and your communities in these areas to support food production, food security and agriculture expansion.”
Ali said the investment will be supported by a very “robust” programme to expand the production of traditional products in Region One. “We are also working with external markets to have long-term arrangements for large-scale production of sweet cassava to meet those external market needs.
“So before the end of the year, in selected communities, the Ministry of Agriculture will be consulting with you on supporting the development of large-scale cassava production to meet those external markets,” President Ali said.