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Govt to set up large-scale honey production project for Santa Mission – Guyana Times

… to kickstart project with 25 beehives

– dredging of creek to be done twice annually to boost eco-tourism

Santa Mission (Santa Aratak), Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), is poised for significant development, especially in the agriculture sector with President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali announcing on Tuesday a new honey production project in the community.

President Dr Irfaan Ali addressing Santa Mission residents on Tuesday

He stated that the local honey production project will benefit from the support of the government. The aim is to produce high-quality, well-packaged honey that would appeal to tourists.
“I want to see the best-packaged honey available here so when the tourists [visit] all of them can go back with two bottles of honey,” he said.
To kickstart the project, the president announced the establishment of a local committee and the provision of 25 beehives. The government will also offer training and safety equipment to ensure successful honey production.

Dredging
In addition, as part of efforts to build a sustainable and resilient eco-tourism sector in the community the dredging of the Kamuni Creek will be done twice annually.
The first cleaning exercise will commence sometime this month, with support from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and villagers from the area.
Dredging of the Kamuni Creek, which is a tributary of the Demerara River, will allow villagers in the small community to boost its eco-tourism efforts by making the waterway a landmark site.

Kamuni Creek

Additionally, the activity will aid in creating a better and healthier aquatic ecosystem and reduce eutrophication, which occurs when the environment becomes enriched with nutrients, increasing the amount of plant and seaweed growth in estuaries and coastal waters.
According to Ali, this move not only has the potential to revitalize tourism in Santa Mission but also bring back the viability of the forestry sector.
“Before the end of this month, we will do the first cleaning and before Christmas, we will do the second cleaning. Then in 2025, time like now we will do the first cleaning and we will bring forward the second cleaning just around the last quarter we will do the second cleaning.”
Santa Mission is a tiny Arawak community in Region Three where residents gain an income primarily from logging and farming.

Agriculture
However, recognizing the area’s vast potential in agriculture and tourism, the Government provided agricultural inputs to the residents to kick start a Small Community Development masterplan program.
Among the items handed over were 50 bags of fertiliser, 50 bags of limestone, 500 coconut plants, 200 citrus plants, two chainsaws, two brush cutters, a fogging machine as well as cutlasses, shovels, rakes, hoes, insecticides, and acoushi drugger bait.
“In three years… between the 500 coconut trees that we will plant and the more than 200 citrus plants that we will plant, I want to see eco-lodges.
“I don’t want to see in the next three years boat coming in with frozen chicken, I don’t want to see eggs coming in. I want t to see chicken, going out, citrus going out, dry coconut going out,” President Ali told the residents.

He added that very soon a new 40 horsepower outboard engine and a boat will be handed over to the community.
“We are going to revolutionized things in small communities, we are going to deploy technology, human assets, and brain power to build competitiveness in small communities. And this plan that we are deploying is going to be a master plan. The vision and ideas that you will see here will start bearing fruit in two and a half years from now,” he added.
The Head of State believes that pilot programme, which merges eco-tourism, agriculture, and forestry will play a crucial role in transforming the economic value of small communities, especially those in the hinterland.

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