$78M allocated to accelerate coconut industry in 2024

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Farmer Haresh Tewari tells the Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, and his team about farming coconut at Laluni. [File Photo]

The government has allocated $78 million in 2024 to bolster the production of coconuts, emphasising its rigorous effort to accelerate growth in this sub-sector.

Guyana has advanced the growth of the coconut sector, bringing 31,500 acres under cultivation from 2020.

Ten more coconut nurseries have also been developed nationwide to provide support services in Charity, Kairuni, Wakenaam, Leguan, Canal No 2, Corentyne, Hosororo, Fort Wellington, and Lethem.

On Monday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance and Public Service, Dr Ashni Singh disclosed that 40,000 seedlings were produced and 13,000 high-yielding coconut nuts were imported to improve coconut productivity across the country in 2023.

Some 1,274 additional acres of coconut were cultivated and 297 farmers benefitted from training exercises.

The agricultural industry uses value-added components of coconut waste material for mulching and other agriculture-related uses such as coconut cultivation.

Furthermore, Dr Singh explained, “In 2024, the government will continue to accelerate coconut production by investing in 39,000 high-yielding seed nuts, targeting 500 additional farmers. We will continue to pursue the conversion of coconut waste into value-added products.”

Meanwhile, the other crops sub-sector will receive significant investments in 2024 to further promote the cultivation of these crops.

Guyana’s commitment to diversifying non-traditional agriculture continues to see the emerging transformation with the expanded cultivation of corn, soya beans, citrus, spices, coconuts, and high-value crops.

With an emphasis on supporting the expanded production of non-traditional crops, major investments have been made in the development of supporting infrastructure, the bolstering of support services, including laboratory and extension services, and the creation of new market prospects.

“In 2023, a sum of $1.9 billion was expended to support other crop interventions. In 2024, a sum of $2.6 billion will support the other crops subsector,” Dr Singh added.