Guyana’s thrust is to be the breadbasket for normal dry season the Caribbean. Despite the country’s booming oil industry – agriculture remains an important contributor to GDP and employment.
To celebrate CARDI Day on 5 December, 2022 two events were hosted by the Institute. In the first event, CARDI donated a Davis Weather Station to the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Research Station, University of Guyana, Turkeyen Campus. The weather station was installed and will be maintained by the Hydromet Service. It is equipped to measure: humidity, rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, solar radiation, barometric pressure and UV radiation. The data is automatically logged and is also incorporated into a national weather system database. Based on discussions between CARDI and the Faculty, the weather station will provide useful information and practical experience for students enrolled in climate smart agriculture courses. In addition, for students and staff conducting research the weather station will provide valuable data. At present the Institute understands, there is no locally available weather data to correlate with events and observations in the area. The data provided by this weather station will fill this gap and further enhance the quality of the research.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Executive Director, Ansari Hosein said the weather station complements the Faculty’s research programme and the Institute was extremely pleased to help lay the foundation for better climate research and interventions by the Faculty for years to come.
In the second event, CARDI together with Ministry of Agriculture, The National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Hope Coconut Industries Limited (Hope Estate), National Plant Protection Organisation and the International Trade Center launched the Brazilian Green Dwarf coconut variety. This is a superior water nut variety produced by the Tecnologia Na Produção De Coqueiros, Brazil. Under the EU/CARIFORUM financed Alliances for Coconut Industry Development, Expansion and Enhanced Support for the Caribbean (ACIDEES) project, 1000 seed nuts were imported for evaluation in Guyana.
Five hundred seed nuts each were distributed to NAREI and Hope Coconut Industries for evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation is to assess the performance and productivity of the variety under local conditions, create seed gardens to reproduce the variety and add to the coconut germplasm.
This activity supports the Government of Guyana’s objective of broadening the genetic base of coconuts, by introducing new superior varieties to improve production.
Productive new varieties like the Brazilian Green Dwarf presents opportunities for processors and agriprenuers as well as open the doors for farmers into new markets.
All partners eagerly anticipate the results of these evaluations. Once favourable, a new superior variety will be released to farmers – one that will guarantee higher incomes and improve livelihoods.