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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kawartha Lakes Farms Welcome Guyanese Agricultural Ministers!

Guyanese Agriculture Ministers Lead Successful Kawartha Lakes Mission !

September 30, 2014 - KAWARTHA LAKES – Kawartha Lakes Economic Development Department along with several agriculture partners welcomed Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy recently during a ministerial mission from the South American nation.
The Guyana delegation, during the tour, focused primarily on leveraging Ontario’s significant knowledge and experience in the dairy industry.

Guyana Plans Dairy Operation

Guyana is preparing to establish a local dairy plant operation that will supply Guyana’s dairy needs in part. The mission, organized by the High Commission of Canada and led by Canadian Trade Commissioner Nicole Johnson included a consortium of Government, regional agencies and private sector leaders all of whom are critical players in the development of a dairy production facility in Guyana. Minister Ramsammy and team were welcomed by Ontario dairy leaders, many of whom had met with the Guyanese Agriculture Minister on the margins of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in October 2013.

Guyanese Delegation Visits Kawartha Lakes Farms

Dr. Ramsammy and his team's visit included the following agricultural sites in Kawartha Lakes:
Kawartha Lakes Biogas Electric Generating Dairy Farm- Maryland Farm
  • Bruce and Sharon VandenBerg's Mariposa Dairy - goat cheese processing, 
  • Crowe's Kawartha Dairy -milk and ice cream processing, 
  • Wicks' Grasshill Farms‎ -dairy goats, 
  • Callaghan's Maryland Farm -Holstein cattle and Bio digester, and 
  • McKeown's Caledon Jerseys -Jersey cattle, soybean crushing and Veal production. 
Kawartha Lakes Dairy Farm:McKeown's Caledon Jerseys
The Guyanese delegation was welcomed by Kawartha Lakes Acting Mayor Brian Junkin, Jamie Schmale, from MP Barry Devolin’s office, Rick Johnson, Senior Advisor for the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Lance Sherk, Kawartha Lakes Director of Economic Development, and Kelly Maloney, Agricultural Development Officer.
“We were able to share several meaningful discussions and anticipate that the relationships that we have started to build will continue to grow as Kawartha Lakes works with the Guyanese people as they move towards agricultural independence”, said Maloney. 

Kawartha Lakes Cutting Edge Dairy Farming Technology Highlighted

The Guyanese Delegation was hosted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Kawartha Lakes Economic Development office. The high level delegation was exposed to the full range of Canadian technologies including:
  • genetics; dairy cattle trace ability; 
  • precision dairy management; 
  • feed and forage and 
  • varying dairy farm operations. 
These technologies will be instrumental as Guyana establishes a large scale dairy operation.
A statement from the High Commission of Canada quoted Minister Ramsammy as saying that Guyana would be interested in exploring collaborative integration and exchange programmes with Canadian educational institutions and farm operations.
Canadian dairy operators responded to Minister Ramsammy’s call and offered GLDA and Guyanese dairy producers the opportunity to participate in exchange programmes to observe and learn from the Ontario dairy industry experience.

Guyana Looks to Reduce Dairy Imports- Kawartha Lakes Farming Operations Offer Excellent Examples

Ontario dairy industry operations feature best in class operations. There are over 4000 dairy farm operations in rural Ontario that boasts both environmentally sustainable techniques and precision management technologies for improved efficiency.
Minister Ramsammy noted that Guyana could learn much from the Ontario dairy experience as the country prepares to establish a dairy sector and reduce its dependence on dairy imports. In discussing Guyana’s need to set up a dairy plant, Minister Ramsammy pointed out that the Caribbean’s food import bill is $5 billion per year, and this situation provides an opportunity for Guyana to reclaim its role as the breadbasket of the Caribbean, whilst also contributing to a reduced regional food import reliance.
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