“For the first time in many years, we have recommenced shipment of rice to Cuba. We have also commenced new shipment of rice to Mexico…it is not easy to access the Mexican markets if you do not meet the standards they expect,” Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo told the ceremony launching the month long activity.
Agriculture Month is being observed under the theme, “Food Security and Hinterland Development: Our National Priority”, Nagamootoo encouraged the Ministry of Agriculture to encourage new means of agriculture, as opposed to the traditional way in the hinterland regions.
He said Agriculture Month should reflect the inclusivity of all in the sector while making reference to the Chinese delegation conducting lessons in Oceanography and Aquaculture.
“I am very pleased that we have friends in different countries and institutions such as CARDI, IDB, FAO and other institutions who are willing to help us to provide training to provide specialised assistance to develop new agriculture in Guyana.”
Prime Minister Nagamootoo encouraged persons to plant more fruit trees, adding “we can all start on the basis that we have lands that could be planted with crops that could help your family and others.”
Nagamootoo said he would also like to see a policy regarding the distribution of agricultural lands to those in need of it.
“There must be a new approach, a new culture of doing work so that people can access services and we can produce better crops, specialized crops. As you can see we will be commissioning a turmeric factory for the first time,” said Nagamootoo.
Agriculture Minister Noel Holder says it is now more important than ever that Guyana moves its agricultural base away from the coastland, given its vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change.
“This year, we will be looking at ways in which we can stimulate greater food security, while increasing food production and productivity. But while we look at addressing food availability, we must put plans in place to ensure the effects of climate change does not deter the progress made.
“To ensure that Guyana is in accord with the international objective of ensuring that ‘World hunger is eliminated,’ creating a conducive environment for production is vital. With over 85 per cent of our population, and 75 per cent of Guyana’s economic activities concentrated on our low-lying coastal plain, Guyana is particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change on its economy, livelihoods, and ecosystems.
“It is even more necessary now for Guyana to extend its agricultural base inland; to shift our production base to the Intermediate and Rupununi savannahs, which have been earmarked as the new agricultural frontiers,” he said, noting that the vast, arable savannah lands have ‘tremendous potential for agricultural advancement, as Guyana continues to narrow the gap between the coastland and the hinterland regions.
Holder said that Guyana’s vast potential as it relates to agriculture is not in the past, but in the future.
“We believe that we can tap that potential if we work together. Guyana is well positioned to fill the food-security gap, regionally and internationally”.
- Countries: Guyana