Coconut farmers and non-traditional agricultural commodities (cash crops) farmers in the Pomeroon area of Essequibo have joined together to form the “Pomeroon Farmers – Coconut and Other Crops Association”, the association said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This is a deliberate attempt to improve production, attract funding and overseas markets. The association which was formed this week was born out of a need to improve farming conditions in the area and to expand production,” they said.
Chairman of the newly elected group, Mr. Michael Griffith, has indicated that the Association’s main purpose will be to assist farmers in the Pomeroon region to develop their farms through the acquisition of funding and skilled personnel to :
– Improve existing drainage and institute new draining systems in farms where necessary
– Better access to affordable planting materials and fertilizers
– Mechanize farms, to move away from labor intensive based farming and harvesting
– Promoting the sale of all crops grown in the Pomeroon through marketing etc.
– Introduction of more profitable crops that will increase the revenue earned by local farmers
– Work with the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs to lobby overseas based organizations for assistance to develop the agriculture section in the Pomeroon area.
Initially the group plans to bring in two excavators to urgently improve drainage in the area. Drainage has been identified as a key factor that has to be upgraded in order to improve the quality and size of coconuts produced in the area. Pomeroon Oil Mill Inc., the leading purchaser of coconuts in the area has also indicated their willingness to work with the farmers to ensure that the association becomes self-sufficient and viable since a vibrant association will lead to greater production. To this end, Pomeroon Oil Mill Inc. has pledged $250,000.00 to the organization, the company will also look into the acquisition of other technologies that can be distributed to farmers to help increase their productivity.
The following office bearers were elected:
Chairman: Michael Griffith
Vice Chairman: Brian Ally
Secretary: Vilma Da Silva
Treasurer: Mr. Eric Gomes
Assistant Secretary/Treasurer: Yeridin Cameron