GUYANA: Return to Agriculture now… Possible food crisis from COVID-19… says (NAREI)

As fears mount of a possible food crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic…

Guyanese need to urgently …  return to farms and kitchen gardens

Pull quote: ‘We are buying Vitamin C tablets and ‘builders’ when we could be growing and utilising our own, such as cherries, oranges and other citrus fruits… ”  —-  Dr. Oudho Homenauth, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute (NAREI)       

– Dr. Oudho Homenauth


That’s the urgent message Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute (NAREI) Dr. Oudho Homenauth has for Guyanese, as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to hold sway.

In an exclusive telephone interview, the CEO told Kaieteur News that, “we have a serious pandemic… and one of the major problems would be food.”

He added that with the closing of borders and ports across the world, the sourcing of food would become difficult. “Stores, supermarkets, and businesses in the whole are running out of supplies, people are panic buying causing shortages in the stores,” he said.

Dr. Homenauth explained that a simple solution to this problem would be “going back to basic agricultural practices such as kitchen gardening.”

He added that there have been several calls by NAREI to look at alternative foods and “growing what we produce.”
Further, the CEO noted that ‘we are buying Vitamin C tablets and builders when we could be growing and utilising our own, such as cherries, oranges and other citrus fruits. This would even help us to economise because with businesses closing, some people are at home and this can provide a financial strain on these individuals. Growing food would release this burden.”

Additionally, the Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Manuel Otero, also said that the coronavirus pandemic provides a situation for the Caribbean to develop food security strategies and greater efforts to increase self-sufficiency.

Older Guyanese may hearken back to the seventies and eighties, when practically every family planted kitchen gardens in response to the country’s drive to consume local foods.

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  • kamtanblog  On 03/25/2020 at 3:47 am

    Nice one…
    Back to our roots…
    Here in UK I grow my own fruit/veg
    on my allotment plot 2x500m2 a few minutes
    from my home.
    What I cannot use I process and freeze for
    winter use. Pay small fee £25pa for it to my local government who owns most land in my
    Town (pop 100.000)
    All lands should belong to local government
    and leased to its residents/people’s …
    (land reformation) …use it or loose it.
    Most land in uk is owned by HRH QE2
    passed down for centuries/generations.

    All freehold land ownership should be abolished
    and be “leasehold” …use it for purpose or loose it…leased to other who must use it for purpose
    of lease.
    Says simple Simon

    Kamtan aka commie !

  • wally n  On 12/02/2021 at 1:44 pm

    When I first read this, I never thought it could amount to anything,listening to the Caribbean news stations, it has become a major problem for them. Guyanese had some experience with this, and hopefully the DNA of the people who maneuvered
    the country through this storm, is still present. Because this is a contrived emergency, I can see it getting worse.
    Maybe kamtan can save us all.

    • kamtanblog  On 12/02/2021 at 2:49 pm

      99.99% of what I grow on my allotment is consumed/frozen/recycled …waste composted. It’s not rocket science
      Life is a “circle” ….not square/triangular/or any other. Even my water off my plastic greenhouse roof is collected in two 100ltrs water butts used to water plants during dry season.
      Have 20 dwarft fruit trees growing not more than 5 feet tall flower/fruiting off stalk not branches or stems. Fruiting in 3/5 years.
      Refer to present generation as “wasteful”
      My grandmother taught me “waste not want not” before she exited in her 95th year.
      Father and mother exited at 93/94.
      Am writing my biography – legacy for my children/grandchildren to read before/after
      my exit.
      Que sera sera

      Off my soapbox !


      K UK

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