The packs of millet gifted to Guyana from India (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)
This initiative was orchestrated during a meeting between President Dr Irfaan Ali and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the Global Millet Conference in March. The High Commissioner and Minister Mustapha later discussed it with the Agriculture Minister of India Narendra Tomar, hence some 200 acres of land were set aside for the cultivation of millets. It is expected to be produced in Regions 4, 9 and 10.
“Millet is a very good crop for us in terms of what we are trying to do and get food security, reduce the food import bill and millet is an indigenous crop I think that Guyana is leading the charge in food security and I think this is an appropriate time that we start the crop in the Caribbean and right here in Guyana,” Minister Mustapha said.
He explained that the land is fertile and the crop can withstand the tropical climate. Millets are a group of cereal grains that are usually grounded into flour. It has a nutritional profile similar to other cereals.
Millet production in Guyana is significant not just for reducing the food import bill but also for concerns growing over the global impacts of the Ukraine/Russia war. A wheat shortage is anticipated and many countries have embarked on producing its own to make up for any shortcomings, Guyana is ambitiously moving in the same direction.