In Guyana two major crops, sugar cane and rice are produced on a large monocultural scale. Demerara sugar derives its name from the Demerara region in Guyana where a lot of the sugar cane is grown to produce brown sugar. Mixed cropping is done on a smaller scale and involves alot of 'cash crops' often including the likes of tomato and lettuce. Most of the fruit are grown on large tracts of land behind villages, as well as in other areas. The main fruit crops include bananas, mangoes, citrus, watermelons, pineapples, genips and cherries. Coconuts grow in various parts, noteably in the Mahaica - Mahaicony region. Pineapples and peanuts are significant crops cultivated in fields of sandy soil away from the coastal region. Non traditional crops such as cashew nuts, cocoa and coffee are being encouraged in interior locations.
Rice is often cultivated by private farmers on a medium scale, (see plate 1) while most of the sugar is cultivated by the Guyana Sugar Cooperation (GUYSUCO). Other crops, mainly fruit and vegetables are cultivated on a relatively smaller scale by farmers in farms and plots of land throughout the country.
Apart from crop cultivation other activities include cattle and poultry rearing, as well as fish farming to a lesser extent. It should be noted that a significant amount of cattle rearing occurs in the Rupununi Region, on the other side of the country. Poultry industry is growing and is a significant part of the livestock sector in Guyana.
Many people in Guyana
are employed, or depend indirectly on the agricultural sector and therefore
it is major issue in considering the environmental situation
|Plate 1. Rice field in Essequibo|
Large scale conversion of lands for agricultural development such as the The Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Scheme which is aimed at providing drainage and irrigation services to the farmers in the area, which encompass three rivers and the areas in between. This particular project was developed in 1986 to service an area of 150,000 acres. The conservancy - a huge flooded area was created, wiping out the natural wildlife and disrupting the local ecosystem. This project, along with other significant agricultural land conversion schemes before 1996 are unlikely to have been subjected to an Environmental Impact Assessment, and may have untold impacts.