Extension Officers undergo training in fertilizer usage, nutrient management to improve crop production

A section of the gathering at the event

During the Ninth Summit of the Americas in June 2022, Caribbean leaders discussed the declining state of food security, and an action committee was formed between the United States of America and the Dominican Republic to develop short-term and long-term action plans to address food security.

“The training on the official use of fertilizers, bio-fertilizers, and nutrient management are part of those plans to address food security in the region and this effort will address both classroom and fieldwork,” the Ambassador said.

Latin America and the Caribbean are the most food-insecure places in the world, according to the United Nations.

“This is a situation that the United States has noticed and in collaboration with our Caribbean partners through the CARICOM Secretariat intends to address and is already addressing.

“In doing so, we must fix deep vulnerabilities in our food systems. We must also make them more inclusive and available,” Ambassador Lynch said.

Several countries in the region, including Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have already benefited from similar training exercises.

According to Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, fertilizer prices increased over the years due to several factors such as high energy prices, the Russia/Ukraine conflict and major exporters reducing export to safeguard domestic supply.

As such, the Government of Guyana has allocated over $1 million in subsidies to farmers and to date, over 22,000 farmers have been benefitting from the distribution of fertilizers.

“To mitigate higher costs for foods, the use of bio-fertilizer and other technologies in response to the rapid costs.

“Biofertilizer functions as a key player in sustainable agriculture by improving soil and crop productivity. The efficient use of nutrients can be achieved by the adoption of best nutrient management practices, by selecting the right fertilizer product and applying the right amount at the right time and place to match plant needs and reduce nutrient losses,” Minister Mustapha said.

Hence, this training will greatly benefit the country’s food agenda and increase production yields. He said the extension officers are an important link between the government and the private sector.