Agriculture is not only about baigan, ochro and bora

first_imgDear Editor,Kudos to the Government and Ministry of Agriculture for coming up with the idea of holding the Uncapped Agricultural Expo.Agriculture expos are very dear to my heart. I have fond memories of those held years ago at Skeldon and Albion estates when I was a boy. Such events are valuable because they enable Guyanese to showcase local foodstuff and other agro-products, and also put the spotlight on new techniques and equipment and supportive business ventures.Prime Minister Forbes Burnham had included some vibrant and tangible entertainment in those expos.That said, I am extremely disappointed that the organisers of the Uncapped Agricultural Expo seem to think that only direct producers of agricultural crops qualify to participate in the exhibition. If that is the case, they should remove the word ‘uncapped.’ Do they think agricultural items are limited to things like coconut water, eschallots, bora, pumpkins and cows, goats and sheep?Back in the day, I attended agricultural expos sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture under the auspices of the late Prime Minister and President, Forbes Burnham. He was never my favourite person when it came to certain aspects of politics that struck me as a kid in the Upper Corentyne, including during the 60s and 70s, but I had a lot of respect for his style of communication, his oratory, and his wisdom with regard to agriculture.I am writing this public complaint with much passion and drive, but with due respect for authority, because the organisers of the Uncapped Agricultural Expo denied my business the opportunity to showcase its three-wheel Trikes at the event.To me, the organisers’ refusal to allow us to showcase our Trikes by contending that they are not agricultural items or products shows the possibility that some of the middle management administrators of the nation’s agriculture are dangerously short-sighted.Let me declare openly and fearlessly that anyone who thinks an agricultural exposition is all about cows, goats, sheep, eschallot, carrots, peas and so forth is someone who has zero understanding of the sector, and lacks the vision to move it forward.Persons like that make Burnham look like a mighty man of agriculture, because he saw Guyana as the breadbasket of not only the Caribbean, but the entire Central and South America, and he knew that the fulfilment of this dream would require land, labour, capital and know-how.Burnham had the good sense to realise that it is essential that the leaders and people involved in the agricultural industry have the basic know-how to move it forward. They have to know that agriculture does not revolve around direct inputs alone. Bringing it all together requires both direct and indirect inputs.This Government is supposed to be comprised of inheritors of the Burnham philosophy. They ought to know that he was keenly aware of the importance of agriculture, and he knew that every facet of the agriculture industry is important to its success, not just crops.The three-wheelers we wanted to showcase are used internationally by agricultural vendors and food processors at all levels to access farms, move around agricultural sites, and transport and market livestock, vegetables, meat and fish.If our agricultural authorities go to Indonesia right now, they will see fish and chicken being transported and sold via three-wheelers, and in some cases slaughtered and processed on the spot. Others sell plucked chicken, fish and meat, and others yet frozen vegetables and fruits as well as fresh vegetables and fruits.They will see goats, sheep, all kinds of agricultural produce, fruits and vegetables transported on three-wheelers in Palestine, in Nigeria, in Ghana, Vietnam and Thailand. It is also famous in the hilly and flat land farming areas of Italy, and is growing in popularity in the United Kingdom. It is also taking hold in Central America, and RK’s Eco-Star Motors has been the pioneer in Guyana and the West Indies so far.Our efforts have been gaining attention, but the business has been moving very slowly as it is difficult to get Government’s input in the Caribbean in new ventures such as these.Sincerely,Roshan Khan Snr.last_img

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