Guyana is making headway with plans to secure wheat production locally in the event of a possible scarcity event on the world market.
This is according to Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha who spoke with MTV News Update at the sidelines of an event on Tuesday evening.
As the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, the supply of wheat has been threatened since Ukraine is one of the world's main suppliers.
To prepare for the event of a possible scarcity, the Minister said the country has embarked on a wheat cultivation trial and thus far the ‘indoor’ trial has proven to be successful. It is in this regard that they will now commence the ‘outdoor’ trial.
“Although we haven’t had a scarcity of wheat as yet we will as long as this war continue…We are not a government that sit and wait, we anticipate so we are looking for new options,” he said.
The ‘indoor’ trial for wheat cultivation started approximately three months ago and today the Ministry finalised the arrangement for the ‘outdoor’ trial.
According to Minister Mustapha, they were able to sign two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the State of Roraima and the Santa Fifth Farm to facilitate this trial.
“We will be doing the trial there between 400 to a 1000 acres [of wheat], trial will start there shortly. So tomorrow [Wednesday] the technician will go in there with our local team and Brazilian team to start the preparation,” he added.
As long as this ‘outdoor’ trial is successful Guyana and the Caribbean can expect to benefit in a significant way.
“This will help us tremendously to reduce the food import bill by 25%,” Mustapha said while expressing that he is optimistic that this initiative will be successful.
Since assuming office, the Government has been working to introduce the cultivation of a number of non-traditional crops such as corn and soya.