Agriculture Month 2019 is being held under the theme ‘’Sustainable agriculture for ensuring food safety in a green economy” and as a part of its calendar of activates in celebration of the month, the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute on Friday hosted an open day for students and stakeholders.Students inspecting seedlings at NAREI’s nurseryThe various departments of NAREI were on full display as they sought to educate students from various secondary schools across the country and other stakeholders on the importance of the work they are doing.Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth said that open day is part of their calendar of events and an annual spectacle.“The whole idea behind open day is for the general public out there. That includes the farmers, students not only from secondary schools but from all over Guyana and also the University of Guyana. A lot of them [University students] have interest, especially final year or third year, to do research projects most of the time jointly with us or independently. It [open day] is also a time when we would showcase the activities we would have been doing for the year and years before and some of the results we have obtained in a practical way. It allows the students and farmers to have direct interaction with our staff so that they become more aware of the institution. They become more knowledgeable of how the work we do here can benefit them,” he explained.A model farm on displayHe explained that NAREI has three main programmes – research and development, extension, and crop protection.“Research and development and whatever research we do is transferred to the end-users which is the farmers, exporters and so forth. We have the extension arm which works directly with farmers on the ground. We have representation throughout the country and in almost all the districts…we have the crop protection or what we call the quarantine services which falls under our ambit as well and that has to do with giving farm certification. We have a presence in all the ports of entries throughout the country because we have to give clearance for everything that comes in especially for fresh produce. Similarly for importation for any fresh produce we have to give the necessary permission for them to come into the country because we have to follow the rules of the country as well as the World Trade Organisation as well.”NAREI’s Mon Repos compound was flocked by students eager to find out about the work of the organisation. Many of the students have an interest in joining the agriculture industry and for them to be exposed to the various forms of research and technology at NAREI was an experience to relish in.A NAREI staffer interacting with the studentsMahaicony Secondary School student, Andrea Morsette was ecstatic when Guyana Times caught up with her. For her, farming is her way of life and she hopes to make a career out of it.“I have learned about the bacterias and fungus of the plants from one section. I went to another section and I learned about the importing and exporting of products in Guyana and I went to another side where they are testing to give the farmers good crops. I am going to join the farming sector. I want to work in the aquaponics area because of my love for fishes. I come from a rice farming family and I will be coming to the Guyana School of Agriculture next year bright and early. Agriculture is the main thing to keep Guyana up,” she said.Other students used the opportunity to interact with the staffers at NAREI as well as tour the facility.