Following the signing of an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation in 2018 between the Government of Guyana and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, a number of technical employees in the country’s agricultural sector on Saturday last commenced training in the area of planting technology, a course offered under the said agreement.Representatives of the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDG); the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the University of Guyana, at the opening ceremonySpecialised lecturers in the field of cassava and vegetables, sugar and rice have arrived from the foreign country to offer their expertise to the technical employees attached to organisations including the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the University of GuyanaThe four-week course is being offered by the Ministry of Commerce, China, through the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (in Guyana) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.In addressing the opening ceremony on Monday at the Guyana School of Agriculture, Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth explained that discussions on the course started more than a year ago between representatives of the two countries.“This exercise started more than a year ago where we would have had intense discussion between representatives from China and our personnel here before this course was finalised,” he said.The CEO further pointed out that rice and sugar were selected because these are the two main commodities produced in Guyana while cassava was chosen because it is a major source of food security, especially in the hinterland communities.“China is offering the course on cassava because the country is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in respect to cassava production. They produce approximately five million tons of cassava annually and cultivate 300,000 hectares,” NAREI’s CEO explained.On this note, Homenauth urged the staff to pay keen attention since this course can provide new information in cassava production, pro-harvesting and industrial processing.Meanwhile, a representative from the Ministry of Commerce, Hanming Hu stated that his country has enjoyed diplomatic relations with Guyana for a long time and has offered support in the health, educational and agricultural sectors.In 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the training course presently being offered. Later this year, another course will be offered in the field of soil and gas development.At the end of the current course, participants are expected to transfer the knowledge learnt to end users such as farmers since agriculture is among the main income givers within the country.
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