Residents of Kamarang have been urged by Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock to get involved in agriculture as this field can be the key to economic growth in the Region Seven community.
Minister Allicock, in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), said that the residents are too reliant on food supplies from Georgetown. “Sometimes if you look at it, basic food stuff comes all the way from Georgetown when you have this rich area here that you can be planting your ground provisions and vegetables, having your chickens or rearing fishes here and probably pigs,” Minister Allicock encouraged.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock
The Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister observed that too many young people in the community are shifting away from agriculture, moving into mining activities. Region Seven is a mineral rich district.
“The mining and the opportunity for quick money as they would say, is taking the young people away from this laborious work of planting, looking after chickens and stuff like that.”
In addition to mining activities, Minister Allicock pointed out that many of the indigenous communities are divided, including Kamarang. The Minister said that the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs is working towards uniting the people.
Once they are united, Minister Allicock said that residents would be able to “focus on the issues, their goals, their capabilities, their resources and to have a playing field that is so geared to allow them to give the support that is needed for an organised community.”
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock in discussion with some residents of Kamarang, Region Seven
The establishment of community- based agriculture in Kamarang is needed Minister Allicock reiterated. “The people here need to focus back to agriculture, might not be big agriculture, but having community-based agriculture, things that a family could handle.”
Minister Allicock further noted that market for the residents’ produce is readily available since the miners in the community would purchase. The older residents in the community who are knowledgeable about farming should work along with the youths, the minister urged.
Currently, a batch of youths in the community is participating in the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) programme that was recently launched by the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs. The programme promotes agriculture among other disciplines.
The Minister hopes that once agriculture rolls out in the community, residents would directly benefit from the profits.