Guyana: Markets open up for farmers to produce non-traditional crops

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In Guyana, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) is helping farmer invest in planting non-traditional crops. Nafeeza Yahya reports on the progress in an East Berbice-Corentyne village:

Kildonan farmers Shawn Wynter and Tenogney Rambarose are excited about the prospects of their non-traditional crops at their respective farms in the East Berbice-Corentyne village. One of the farmers was able to produce and sell 40 pounds of onions recently, a project for which he received support from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI). He has also had help with marketing from major supermarkets in Georgetown.

Wynter has been into farming for a number of years after returning to Guyana from one of the Caribbean islands, where he had been working for quite some time. He began planting some peppers and celery in his backyard. However, the market was soon flooded with the crops and the prices were not favourable, so he decided to try something different. He started with carrots, but wasn’t getting the desired results. However, with NAREI’s help, he started to make headway, as he was taught how to grow the crop the way it should be grown.

Now he is the proud owner of a small plot of carrots–just 2½ beds–from which he expects to reap somewhere between 50 to 70 lbs of the vegetable later this week. This would be his first successful harvest of carrots and he is quite excited.

Again, with NAREI’s help, Wynter has taken the bull by the horns and ventured into many other non-traditional crops, namely: Jalapeno peppers, purple cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and a variety of pepper that yields five different colours all at once.

He wants to expand on onions, since he has already secured markets for the produce in whatever quantities he can produce. He is also encouraging others to get on board and cultivate the lands with these high-end, non-traditional crops. [. . .]

Tenogney Rambharose, 37, of Nurney has been farming for some eight years, mainly traditional crops such as pumpkins. Then last year, she began branching off into non-traditional crops also, and has been reaping the rewards ever since. During the Christmas holiday, she was able to get premium prices for her onions and seasoning peppers, which has encouraged her to try other high-end crops. She has found that with her small plot of land, she was able to earn as much as when she cultivated large plots of traditional crops.

What Rambharose and Wynter were able to achieve gives Regional Crop Extension Officer Candy Thomas-Batson hope that many more farmers will follow their lead as the region seeks to form a cluster of 20 farmers within the neighbouring villages of Nurney, Kildonan and Bush Lot that will be tasked with planting within three to five varieties of onions. [. . .]

For full article, see http://guyanachronicle.com/2018/01/21/markets-wide-open-for-corentyne-farmers

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