The Government of Guyana is focused on the attainment of a good life for all Guyanese. In supporting this vision the launching of Ten Agricultural/Shade Homes Project and the Aquaculture Hatchery (In Land Fishing Project) was realized.
The St. Francis Community Developers, headed by Mr. Alex Foster, on the 30th March 2017 launched these two projects at the St. Francis Developers Community Centre in Rose Hall Town, East Coast Berbice.
“On a daily basis God uses all of us so we can reach out and touch the lives of people, to encourage them to do better” were the sentiments of Mr. Foster while addressing those present as to the vision behind the two projects. Recognition was given to the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Social Protection for the financial support given for the development of the projects.
The beneficiaries of the project included families of Light Town, New Amsterdam, Fyrish, Limlear, Kildonaan and Manchester. The projects seek to build avenues in which persons are able to create for themselves a better life so as to curb the ills of poverty. The New Amsterdam Female Prison, Lower Corentyne Secondary School, Guysuco Training Centre and the Felix Austin Police Training College at Adventure were also each beneficiaries of an Agricultural/Shade Home.
The ceremony also saw the launching on an Aquaculture Hatchery which will be able to produce ten thousand fingerlings within 8 weeks; sixty five thousand within a given year. The Tilapia Nursery was praised for being a good and inexpensive source of protein. Mr. Reuben Robertson, Representative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, indicated that proper nutrition lends to the development of a good cognitive skill set. “The only tangible way to touch the lives of rural poor people and bring them out of poverty is to strengthen, build, establish and encourage partnerships”, Mr. Robertson said as he addressed those in attendance. He further stated “a good life for all means more partnerships; the Government will need the support from all entities in order to achieve this goal”.
Mr. Eon Sampson representing the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) commended the St. Francis Community Developers for this initiative since the agricultural diversification will be resilient to the negative effects of climate change. Mr. Sampson encouraged the beneficiaries to reinvest their profits into the continuance of their greenhouse projects. He further highlighted the support which can be sought from extension officers in each of the districts where these ten green houses have been established.
The Ministry of Education, represented by Ms. Basmattie Lacruz, lauded the St. Francis Community Developers for providing a green house facility for schools to utilize; such an initiative can help students succeed at their SBAs and CXC examinations.
Mr. Ken Vincent of Food for the Poor Guyana, a main stakeholder in the green house project, during his presentation committed his organization’s further support to Region 6 stating “in the near future ten homes will be built in the region by Food for the Poor”. Food for the Poor recently constructed three homes in the region prior to this commitment of ten more homes.
Minister Amna Ally, MP, Minister of Social Protection, in her feature address indicated that the establishment of the Agriculture Green Shade House Project unveils one of President David Granger’s visions of creating a green state. The Government of Guyana continues to create opportunities for young people, women, different organizations and Guyanese on a whole to better develop and empower themselves through the establishment of project such as the Agriculture Green Shade House Project and Aquaculture Hatchery. Minister Ally said “today the new government brings innovative measures such as this shade house project which begins to reduce poverty in various communities, providing livelihood for many”. The Minister applauded the shade house initiative; while congratulating the beneficiaries she encouraged them to expand their enterprise to make it more productive.
The crops being produced at the different shade houses include tomatoes, celery, cabbage, lettuce, sweet peppers and pakchoy. The Minister of Social Protection and the different stakeholders present were able to view one of the shade houses at the ribbon cutting ceremony conducted at the launch. A ribbon cutting ceremony was also done for the Aquaculture Hatchery where a presentation of a pump was made by Food for the Poor to ensure the water of the hatchery remained at the required level.
The Ministry of Social Protection continues to support the vision of the Government of Guyana in creating a good life for all Guyanese.