Residents of Coomacka and surrounding areas were today assured of an inter-agency approach to resolving several difficulties facing agricultural ventures within the Region 10 communities.At an outreach at the Coomacka Community Centre, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder and team engaged the Region 10 residents, on concerns in relation to drainage and irrigation, pest control and markets for their produce. Responding to these, Minister Holder advised that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), and the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) will work jointly to provide solutions to the identified problems.Recognising the importance of Region 10 as a gateway to several interior and hinterland communities, the Minister stressed that with climate change and the threats presented to the nation’s food sources on the coastland, the Government has decided to focus on the development of the Rupununi and the Intermediate Savannahs as new agricultural areas.Head of NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth distributing ants bate“Region 10 becomes a very critical and strategic region because if you think of it, Region 10 is connected to six of the 10 regions of this country. It is also the main area through which anyone moving inland through Guyana has to pass. You must pass through the Linden community to cross the Demerara river to get down to the south, to get to Brazil and other places,” the minister is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying.Minister Holder said Brazil is an important potential market for Guyana. He explained that Manaus, with approximately 2.3M people, is a big area of export production for Brazil that is looking to get their produce to the European and other markets.“Currently, they have to travel 1,500 miles before a port. Linden is closer and therefore it’s in their interest to export things through Guyana and if they do that there is potential for a deep-water harbour and Linden is identified for that. Apart from the employment they will provide, they will also need supplies so they will import our rice, pork and many things that we will produce,” Minister Holder saidChief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth, outlined the various services available to the region through the agency’s local offices. He stressed the importance of seeking the right advice about the suitability of soils in the area for crop cultivation.Meanwhile, Head of the GLDA, Nigel Cumberbatch shared information on the opportunities available for livestock production in the region.“Given the kinds of livestock we have, I’m sure in a couple of years we can say to the mining camps that we can supply the quality of meat they currently import or purchase from Georgetown.”Referencing the ‘Topigs 40,’ swine breed imported by the Guyana Swine Producers’ Association with aid from the Ministry of Communities, Cumberbatch committed to having regional livestock personnel work with farmers to aid their swine and other production.In addition, the GLDA head noted that the nearby Coomacka Primary School was not conducting agriculture practical and promised to present the school with 100 chickens and feed, with the understanding that the school will be responsible for building the chicken coop. This offer was readily accepted by the Community Development Council Chairman, Dexter Harding and residents present.