Guyana increases wheat trials

Last Updated on Friday, 1 September 2023, 14:30 by Denis Chabrol

Guyana has expanded its wheat growing trials, more than one year after the country touted the idea in response to the adverse effect of the Russia-Ukraine war on grain production and exports, President Irfaan Ali said Friday.

Addressing the formal launch of the 17th Caribbean Week of Agriculture, he said more land has been set aside for additional trials. “Wheat production trials have been expanded at two locations across Guyana and the success of these trials can lead to large scale production of wheat in Guyana,” he said.

No details were provided immediately by top government officials when they were contacted.

Guyanese rice researcher Dr. Mahendra Persaud is on record two months ago as expressing confidence that wheat could be grown in Guyana. “At this point in time, we are very sure that wheat can grow in Guyana. We still have lots more work to do, but we are very sure,” said Dr Ali who is responsible for agriculture in the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) quasi-cabinet.

Meanwhile, President Ali also announced that 10 new coconut nurseries have been established from 2020 to 2022 and a total capacity of 208,000 annually, and Guyana was poised to supply seedlings to the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). “Interestingly and importantly, these nurseries will also serve the needs of CARICOM,” he said.

He added that coconut production is expected to increase from 30,000 metric tonnes in 2020 to more than 100,000 metric tonnes in 2025. He said more than 5,000 additional acres of coconut cultivation from 2021 to June 2023.

CARICOM hopes for a 25 percent increase in food production by 25 percent by 2025.