Govt eyes restarting coffee cultivation in Pomeroon – Min Mustapha

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Agriculture Ministry is currently collaborating with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) to restart coffee cultivation in the Pomeroon, Region Two area – as Government continues its mandate of introducing high-value and non-traditional crops in the sector.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha explained earlier this week that the goal is to supply the local coffee market within three years.

It was pointed out that two years ago, the Pomeroon area was under threat having been flooded and the issue of poor drainage. This has been addressed by the Agriculture Ministry, with additional works to be undertaken.

“This area has become very important for production. As a matter of fact, we’re looking to restart coffee cultivation in the Pomeroon but we need a proper drainage system. We had made a commitment that we would procure two excavators with a pontoon. A month ago, I commissioned the two excavators and the pontoon at the cost of $150 million.”

“We have IICA working with us to develop coffee production once again in the Pomeroon. We’re hoping that in three years, Pomeroon will give us all the coffee and we will be supplying Guyana’s entire coffee needs,” said the Agriculture Minister.

The equipment is stationed permanently in the Pomeroon River to assist farmers with irrigation. During a presidential visit to the area, farmers had also called for the dredging of the Pomeroon River.

A contract valued at $590 million has already been awarded to see these works through. These efforts are all geared at ensuring that the area is well prepared to become an agricultural hub.

“I am hoping that at the end of this dredging exercise, the entire Pomeroon would have good access and drainage, and thousands of farmers and livelihoods will be created in the Pomeroon area. That area will once again become productive.”

Earlier this year, it was reported that plans to resuscitate the ground coffee project in Moruca, Sub-Region One, were well underway. The Santa Rosa ground coffee project was reintroduced to the region in 2018. This $10 million investment was aimed at not only boosting the region’s economy but the country.

Significant investments are being made in producing new crops while efforts are actively ongoing to expand other subsectors. Among those is aquaculture. Shrimp – the ones which are harvested on the Corentyne and East Coast Berbice have a high demand in the diaspora.

Crops such as cauliflower and broccoli have seen increased interest, while the Ministry has also started trials for corn, soya, and wheat.