UPL, a leading provider of Sustainable Agriculture Solutions, announced a collaboration with the Republic of Guyana to establish a 200 acre ‘Millets Model Farm’. Mr. Jai Shroff, Group CEO of UPL group and Mr. Zulfikar Mustafa, Hon. Agriculture Minister of the Republic of Guyana, signed an MOU on 21st April, 2023 in Georgetown, Guyana with an aim to assess the adaptation of various millet varieties for growing and consuming in Guyana. The signing of the MoU coincided with the visit of an Indian delegation to Guyana led by Mr. S. Jaishankar, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India.
In this partnership, UPL will supply technical expertise and selected agriculture inputs, while the Republic of Guyana will provide suitable land parcel of 200 acres in Guyana, local farm operation will be done by Republic of Guyana.
Millets, also known as super food, are climate smart, sustainable, rich in heritage, and highly nutritious food resource. In comparison with rice, millet production requires half of the water per acre as compared with rice, making it a water conservation crop that can also withstand other climatic conditions like droughts, floods, heat stress, erratic rainfalls, etc., than other crops, saving food loss, enhancing small farmers resilience.
According to the FAO, millets encompass a diverse group of cereals including pearl, proso, foxtail, barnyard, little, kodo, browntop, finger and Guinea millets, as well as fonio, sorghum (or great millet) and teff. They are an important source of nourishment for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. They are deeply rooted in Indigenous Peoples’ culture and traditions and help guarantee food security in areas where they are culturally relevant. Millets are also very nutritious because they consist of antioxidants, minerals, and protein. As whole grains, each millet variety contains a particular type and amount of fibre, which aids in the regulation of intestinal function, blood sugar, and lipids.
Mr. Sagar Kaushik, President, Global Corporate & Industry Affairs from UPL, said, “We are delighted to partner with the Republic of Guyana as the first country in Latin America to explore millet cultivation potential in Guyana, which will also benefit Small Holding Farmers.”
Explaining the initiatives further, Mr. Kaushik Said, said, “UPL is paving the path for millet cultivation and making important strides toward its vision of a food-secure world through this collaboration. This is a win-win situation for both Guyana and UPL. UPL’s expertise and technical know-how will play a crucial role in ensuring the success of this initiative, which can provide a sustainable livelihood to smallholding farmers globally. We are excited about the potential of this collaboration and look forward to working with the Republic of Guyana to achieve our shared goal of promoting sustainable agriculture practices.”