Farmers in the Moruca sub-district in Region One (Barima-Waini) were provided with technical knowledge in the agricultural field as the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry concluded a two-day engagement on Friday.The visit saw partnerships between the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and Brazil’s Stem Integrated Production in Agribusiness (SIPA) under which ground Robusta coffee and cassava flour would soon be produced and supplied to the local and international markets.The team was led by Minister within the Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Ministry, Valerie Garrido-Lowe. Some 50 farmers were educated on planting techniques and pest control methods to boost their current yields. Inter-cropping with several species of legumes was encouraged as a means of replenishing soil nutrients thatSamples being collected from a farm for analysiswould have been lost during cropping season.Minister Garrido-Lowe explained that these initiatives were economically viable since they would be value-added production, emphasising the successes of the Pakaraima Flavours sun-dried tomato ketchup.“The hinterland has great prospects in agriculture and tourism, and our people are willing to work to raise their standard of living and they are not afraid to try new things. The Pakaraima Flavours sun-dried tomato ketchup is testimony to that fact [that] our people are hardworking and when they make up their minds to do something for their benefit, they can deliver for themselves and others.”Meanwhile, NAREI Researcher Premdat Beecham asserted that based on observations, the communities were moving in the right direction, since the value of the produce had increased.“We need to move in that direction, since value addition is one of the most important things, because we cannot do without adding value to it and taking into consideration the schools’ feeding programme and the limited resources that we have in terms of commodities going into these areas,” he said.Meanwhile, SIPA Consultant Carlos Alberto De Medeiros stated that he was certain that both projects would succeed, since the climate and work force were excellent.Additionally, coffee specialist Walter Matadial pointed out effective organic pest control methods with specific focus on eradicating the Acoushi Ants.Soil samples were collected from each farm, and a complete analysis would be conducted. The results as well as recommendations will be forthcoming shortly. Meanwhile, both projects will be operating through a co-op society.The Moruca sub-district is strategically positioned to engage in significant economic gains and the coffee and cassava flour projects will be among other sustainable initiatives to change the trajectory of the lives of residents. Some 15 farmers from Santa Rosa Village are expected to be involved in the coffee project, while 35 of their colleagues will be involved in the cassava flour project in Kwebanna.