$900M revolving fund officially launched for forestry sector stakeholders

The $900 million forestry revolving fund for small and medium-sized loggers was officially launched on Tuesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

During a ceremony held to commemorate International Day of Forests, and to mark the launch of the fund, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, emphasised the need for investments in the forestry sector, noting that forests remain an integral part of environmental conservation.

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh at the launch of the $900 million forestry revolving fund on Tuesday

“It is significant that we chose the International Day of Forests 2023 to launch publicly this forestry revolving fund, which was an initiative of President Ali, where he recognized not only the importance of sustainable forest-based industry but also some of the constraints faced by those operating in the sector,” he said.

The fund is part of the government’s commitment to increase focus on small, medium and community loggers, and will see the government of Guyana contributing $300 million, while Demerara Bank Limited will provide the remaining $600 million.

“This initiative represents an important example of partnering with the private sector—in this case with a leading and pioneering commercial bank in Guyana,” he said.

The establishment of the fund is expected to address some of the challenges faced in the forestry sector in terms of the availability of easily accessible, low-cost financing, especially for small-scale operators.

It will be utilised to issue loans to individuals and companies operating within the forestry sector, for the purpose of increasing production and value-added products in the sector.

The process of selecting eligible persons will be overseen by Demerara Bank Limited.