D&I works increased by 135 per cent to enhance food security efforts

Guyana has positioned the agriculture sector as an expanded diversified, modern, resilient, and competitive sector and is now regarded as a leader in the CARICOM agri-food system agenda.

Since taking office in August 2020, the government has made significant investments in drainage and irrigation systems as a first step to mitigating flooding.

These investments in the maintenance of drainage and irrigation systems and farm-to-market roads will benefit farmers by improving access to their farmlands.

This was highlighted by President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali during his recent press conference.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali at his press conference

“From $8.4 billion in 2019 to $19.7 billion in 2023. This is the increase in investment in drainage and irrigation, which is a 135 per cent increase...We are opening up new lands. Approximately 260 kilometres of farm-to-market access roads, fair-weather, and all-weather roads. We have been able to open up more than 50,000 acres of new lands for production.”

The budgetary allocation for the sector has seen a 150 per cent increase, moving from $13.3 billion in 2019 to $33.2 billion in 2023.

This funding will support the installation of new drainage systems in a number of communities as part of initiatives to prevent flooding during periods of heavy rainfall.

Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh has noted that government aims to construct new pump stations at Meten-Meer-Zorg, Jimbo Grove, Belle Vue, and Letter Kenny in order to address the problem.

The funds will also be used to upgrade other drainage and irrigation systems across the country, including those at Amazon, Nabaclis, Golden Grove, and Buxton along the East Coast corridor.

The government is working towards bridging the production gap by ramping up production in crops such as rice, sugar, corn, soyabean, and high-value crops.

The head of state reemphasised that these are all new areas that are emerging in the infrastructure of contemporary agriculture to support resilience and sustainability in food production.