Guyana to test 15 wheat varieties within weeks – Guyana newsroom

In the coming weeks, Guyana will begin the trial phase of 15 wheat varieties to determine the best quality that can be produced here.

Local scientist Dr Mahendra Persaud will lead the project, according to Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha.

“We are in contact with our counterpart, especially in Mexico, we are looking at a different variety of wheat, hopefully by the end of this month or next month at the latest, we should have the first trial of 10/ 15 varieties of wheat to see the best that can be grown in Guyana,” Minister Mustapha told reporters on Wednesday on the sidelines of an event.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha (Photo: Newsroom/April 6, 2022)

He noted that researchers at the Myanmar Rice Research Station are identifying areas across the country to grow wheat, but postulated that it may eventually be grown in Paramakatoi, Region Eight.

“There are opportunities in different parts of the country where we can have nurseries to see where it will grow better, all of those things are being looked at.

“You know, in Paramakatoi, the weather like now [13:00hrs] in the daytime the place is still foggy and cold so this is an area we need to look at as sometimes wheat grows in temperate zones,” Minister Mustapha said.

Burma Rice Research Station is also a possible place to grow the item.

“We have enough land there, but we will also have to look at the climatic conditions,” said the Minister of Agriculture.

A global shortage of wheat, resulting from the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, has affected many countries, including Guyana, prompting the cultivation of wheat here.

Minister Mustapha revealed that the government is determined for Guyana to produce its own wheat.

“We cannot be too dependent on imports and as a country we have to make sure we produce our own food and be self sufficient because we can have all the money in the world and we have seen during the pandemic how many countries are suffering for get food because there is a shortage,” Minister Mustapha said.

Last month, the National Milling Company of Guyana Inc. (NAMILCO) announced a 15% increase in flour prices.

In a statement released by the company, it explained that the price of wheat has increased by 40% with additional costs for packaging, additives and fuel. The economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have contributed to the skyrocketing cost of goods around the world.

Dora W. Clawson