Georgetown, Guyana. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) through its programs Bioeconomy and Production Development and Climate Change, Natural Resources and Management of Production Risks, have identified the potential solution of developing a model based on composting technology (in its first stage). This model promotes the development of complex interlinkages between actors in the value chain, such as those in the renowned industrial symbiosis projects. The model also allows the development of other potential businesses using different waste processing technologies (including plastic) that can result in the generation of bioenergy, bio-inputs and biomaterials in a future stage of the project. This project was further endorsed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat at the Eighty-First Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) - Agriculture held on October 2 and 4, 2019 in Belize.
The Guyana leg of this regional project is in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI). This pilot project is being implemented in two-phases and is facilitated by Dr. Abimbola Abiola, Technical Specialist, IICA. The first phase of the project is a two-day workshop “Creating Economic Opportunities for the Organic Waste Management Sector through the Adoption of Bio-economic Models in the Caribbean,” which commenced January 27, 2020 at the NAREI Boardroom, Mon Repos. Participating agencies were invited from both the Private and Public sectors, which included Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), NAREI, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Guyana Development Livestock Authority (GLDA).
The composting process converts organic wastes into valuable compost that can be used to enhance degraded soils, as compost is both a soil amendment and a soil conditioner. Composting could be used to strengthen the economy of rural areas and, at the same time, the benefit of compost application can be used in local farming, tourism, land restoration and others. IICA continues to show its willingness and aptitude to continue working to facilitate and enhanced good agricultural practises that could ultimately enhance livelihood.
On January 28, entailed a detail practical experience of composting with the use of choice organic materials of which Dr. Abiola emphasised the importance of composting and it being a practical way of dealing with the problem of organic solid waste management, which comprises over 70% of the solid waste stream in Guyana. The workshop ended with participants formulating their very own composting projects in groups, with the aim of being able to find a way to utilise efficiently their by-products that would otherwise be seen taken to landfills or buried. They are expected to present their findings in April 2020 when the second phase of the project will commence.
Forrest Smartt, Climate Change Specialist, email@example.com