Joe Singh has been appointed Chairman of the Board of NAREI

Major General (Ret’d) Joe Singh

Major-General (Ret’d) Joe Singh has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).

The other members are Dr. Dindyal Permaul, Anjanie Narine, Andrew Forsythe, Natasha Beerjit-Deonarine, Bibi Shadick, Jainarine Narine, Suresh Amichand, Pooran Seeraj, Ricky Roopchand, Christopher Vandeyar, Dr. Garvin Cummings, Porandatt Narine, Raymond Ramsaro. . Oudho Homenauth (ex officio).

Earlier today, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha urged the new Board to work together to lay the groundwork to take the agency to the next level.

Minister Mustapha said the Board was expected to develop programs that are in line with Government policies, as outlined in its 2020-2025 manifesto.

“Some of those policies are to create a complementary environment for the development of other crops, promoting the diversification of agriculture with a focus on coconuts and horticulture. NAREI is also tasked with promoting the agri-energy industry; bioethical production through palm oil, cassava and corn. I recently had a discussion with the Chairman about palm oil in Region One and have asked him to prepare a program for the Ministry so that we can see the kind of funding needed for that, ”said Minister Mustapha.

The Board was also tasked with developing guidelines to expand imported and other replacement crops in the Country Savannahs.

The subject Minister stated that, in last year’s emergency budget, incentives were given in the soybean and corn industry and that the Board should work to promote the growth of both these crops.

In addition, Minister Mustapha urged the Board to pay particular attention to developing strategies to boost Guyana’s coconut industry.

“You know for a fact that our coconut industry is about to start and we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on its success and development. We have had a budget allocation last year to develop two new coconut nurseries and this year we are proposing seven additional nurseries for other areas across the country. We are optimistic that those projects will be approved by the Ministry of Finance so that we can start building these nurseries. The coconut industry, to me, is probably the third most important crop in our country and has the potential to be a very big foreign exchange winner for Guyana. We have also made great progress in joining the International Coconut Community (ICC), ”said Minister Mustapha.

The Board was also asked to pay close attention to the development and implementation of the mangrove development plan for 2021-2025. Minister Mustapha urged the new Board to develop a program to guide the government’s five-year strategic plan for strengthening Guyana’s sea defenses by integrating mangroves, including carrying out mangrove replanting exercises in vulnerable areas across the Coast.

The newly appointed Chairman of the Board, Major General (Ret’d) Joe Singh, said in comment that the Board will work together to address the areas identified by Minister Mustapha.

“The Minister has given us a very comprehensive outline of his and the Cabinet’s expectations of the Board and a direction on what are considered priorities as it relates to the NAREI mandate. Not only do we expect to be sitting in a boardroom, but we will also be visiting other areas around the country. In this way we will be able to see the results of NAREI research as well as interact with farmers. I would like us to think from a national perspective – how what we do as a Board not only supports, tasks and monitors what NAREI does but what we can bring to it the Board. I don’t expect people to just be rubber stamps, ”said Mr Singh.

The Chair further stated that there are a number of outstanding issues that the Board will deal with during their statutory meetings.