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Guyana: NAREI preparing to boost potato cultivation

Several partnership proposals from private investors have been received by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), for the cultivation of potatoes.

NAREI has stated that this is in light of several successful trials undertaken by the institution over the past year. To this end, NAREI is in the process of procuring a state of the art potato seed storage equipment.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Oudho Homenauth, adding such equipment to the list of services already being offered by the institution is necessary. “Already $5M has been allocated under our capital works programme for the procurement of the equipment, which will be procured shortly.”

Stabroeknews.com tells us how -during the trial phase undertaken by the Research Institute- several successful cultivations were undertaken in conjunction with farmers in several different regions, such as Mahaicony, Little Biaboo, Laluni and Kairuni. Notable challenges were poor germination and the development of fungus as a result of improper storage of seed materials.

“What we have noticed is that for the potato seedlings to be viable it has to be stored at a temperature between 7-8˚С. Another problem is time and density for the planting of the potato seedling due to our changing weather patterns,” NAREI’s CEO said.

In light of Guyana’s quest to expand its commercial agriculture, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder has called on investors to take advantage of the opportunities. He added that with the prospect of potatoes being grown on a large-scale basis, there will be plenty of opportunities to engage, network and grow.

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