Agri Ministry committed to transforming agricultural sector to sustainable one

DPI, GUYANA, Sunday, September 30, 2018

Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder, on Sunday, said his ministry is committed to the transformation of the nation’s agricultural sector to one that is sustainable in keeping with government’s Green Economy.

Speaking at an inter-faith service to launch agriculture month, under this year’s theme, “Shaping Agriculture for a Green Economy,” the Minister said the theme indicates the ministry’s commitment to lead the way in transforming the sector into sustainable, productive and diversified agriculture. He noted that it also highlights the government’s commitment to the ‘Green Economy’ agenda as it is the blueprint for a better quality of life for all

In his remarks, Minister Holder said that “The Ministry of Agriculture aims to contribute towards this goal through sustainable, productive, climate resilient and diversified agriculture. Specifically, the re-orientation and diversification of the sector, reducing reliance on traditional sub-sectors and opening new higher valued added and higher growth industries and investment opportunities for sustainable income generation,” Minister Holder said.

According to the Agriculture Minister, the sector faces a multitude of challenges and as such, “we should have no delusions regarding the scale of these challenges”, hence all relevant stakeholders have a role to play. He noted that the ministry will also place emphasis on the use of alternative energy to reduce the cost of production in the agricultural sector.

The minister urged all to take part in as many activities slated for the month-long observance and to view the areas being focused on by the ministry.

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd said the interfaith service is a positive start for the month-long observance which reflects togetherness, team spirit and the commitment of the ministry and its sub-sectors.  Nedd added that the green economy provides a substantial possibility and potential for growth, especially within the agriculture sector.

“The sustainable use of agriculture practices from our farmers, food processors, local retail and exports can all play a vital role in ensuring that a sustainable agriculture system is realised. More so, in moving to green agriculture improvements in production systems and crop and livestock feeding programmes can result in increased food production,” PS Nedd said.

Such increases, she said, can allow the ministry to create new markets with non-traditional agriculture through a partnership with young people and other relevant stakeholders in the quest to achieve the Ministry’s goal of a sustainable, more productive agriculture sector.

Among those present at the interfaith service were National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA)’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederick Flatts, Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) Managing Director, Nizam Hassan, Chief Hydrometeorological Officer (ag) Dr. Garvin Cummings among others.

The series of activities to mark Agriculture month includes the observance of National Tree Day and the annual FAO World Food Day among other.

Neola Damon.

Images: Leon Leung.