Business Ministry to place greater emphasis on agriculture sector.
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, October 12, 2017
Against the backdrop of climate change, which poses a constant threat to ensuring persons have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, it has become necessary for the administration to explore other avenues of food production, whilst ensuring economic inclusivity of our hinterland regions.
According to Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, the agriculture sector has historically played a significant role in Guyana’s development, but an even greater role is envisaged. A number of factors will influence the growth of the sector, including more efficient methods of production, diversification of crops, value-added productivity and greater local consumption of locally produced foods (which will reduce the food import bill).
The Ministry of Business is contributing to this buoyancy of the agriculture sector in a number of ways.
An adherence to quality standards will allow local producers to trade across borders much easier. To that end, the National Codex Committee (which is managed by the GNBS) will advise on the implementation of standards and coordinate synchronization of national food standards with international recommendations.
The National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) for Economic Diversification & Trade Promotion project whose thrust is to improve compliance of products for local and export markets, while at the same time supporting growth, diversification, and expansion of the economy.
A number of surveys and targeted interventions have been conducted by the Department of Commerce and New Marketing Corporation with agro-processors, to identify those with significant growth potential and ensure they are export ready
Business Incubators will become a characteristic of the new industrial estates being developed by the Ministry of Business. Two new estates currently being developed will see small agro-processors in Lethem and Berbice being prioritised to participate in the incubator programmes.
A series of training sessions were conducted to prepare exporters of traditional and non-traditional products to understand the business and marketing aspects of crop farming in order to bring their products to export readiness.
The promotion of agro-tourism, to highlight the opportunities to expand the agriculture sector into other areas, was showcased at the inaugural coconut festival in 2016.
During Agriculture Month 2017, the focus will be on stimulating greater food security; increasing food production and productivity and shifting Guyana’s agricultural base inland.
By: Gabriela Patram