The Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED) in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (MGLRD) and the Mara Farmers’ Association (MFA) successfully concluded a five-day training workshop for 30 farmers during the week of March 10-14, 2014 at the Mara Community Center, Ma-Retraite Scheme, East Bank Berbice, Guyana.
The workshop forms one aspect of the Mara Agricultural Enhancement Project (MAEP) which seeks to increase the productive capacity and diversify the portfolio of farmers in the Mara (California to Germania) area.
The workshop was facilitated by the Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) specialists Mr. Arnold De Mendonza – Sustainable Rural Development Specialist and Mr. Jermaine Joseph (Agriculture Field Specialist), and assisted by National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) district Officer, Ms. Yashma Subhai.
The workshop focused extensively on;
- Small farm management- use of simple farm management tools for effective and efficient management of farms.
- Low cost production techniques
- Good Agricultural Practices- preventing and controlling of contamination of fresh farm produce.
- Post harvest handling of crops-prevention of post-harvest crop losses and development of marketing operations, etc.
- New production techniques- alternative farming techniques
The Regional Chairman Mr. David Armogan and Regional Vice Chairman Mr. Bhupaul Jhagroo were in attendance. Both officials commended participants for recognising the importance of continuous training and urged all to see agriculture as a business and not just a subsistence way of life. They also reminded farmers that the forces of globalisation and international competition are real and the adoption of new technologies and modern agriculture practices is the way forward for successful agriculture businesses.
Mr. Dhanraj Singh, National Country Coordinator (CARILED- Guyana), commended the farmers for their commitment and exemplary participation throughout the workshop. Mr. Singh stated that the workshop demonstrated that communities have not lost the sense of togetherness and that learning and continuous training for increasing capacity is an essential ingredient for growth and development. He urged farmers to work and adopt the new practices learnt and continue to seek new information that can improve their livelihood in a green and sustainable way. Mr. Singh also indicated that CARILED will continue to work with the farmers to increase access to new markets domestically, regionally and internationally.
Mr. Ovid Phillips, Chairman Mara Farmers’ Association expressed sincere gratitude on behalf of the members citing that the Association is extremely grateful for the opportunity to receive such training. He expressed thanks to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, CARILED, the Regional Democratic Council, IICA, NAREI and the participants for making the workshop and grand success. Mr. Phillips assured the facilitators and organisers that the training will tremendously improve the lives of the famers.
CARILED is funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), and is a six -year programme launched in May 2012. The programme is being implemented by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), in partnership with the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA), the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers (CFLGM) and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.