Government committed to strengthening Guyana’s traditional sectors

– PM tells Essequibo Agro Trade Fair and Expo

Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips said that Guyana’s traditional sectors, including agriculture, will be strengthened by the Government.

He told the Essequibo Agro Trade Fair and Expo, hosted by the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI), at the Anna Regina Community Centre ground on Friday evening that the oil and gas industry will create the impetus to enhance overall development, including its traditional sectors.

“Our Government has committed to the continued strengthening of Guyana’s traditional sectors, recognising that they continue to play a significant role in our economy. Moreover, such sectors as agriculture contribute to our food security, which contributes to healthy lifestyles, economic growth, poverty reduction and job creation.”

The Prime Minister noted that the developmental process has already started as he highlighted the significant investments made in agriculture. These include Guyana and the CARICOM region’s drive to reduce their food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025; “the revival of the sugar industry through a $15bn investment in field and factory operations at the estates, and rehiring the 1,869 estate workers who lost their jobs following the closure of the four estates under the previous administration; and investments in the rice sector through the establishment of value-added laboratories, and increased investment in rice research for diversification”.

Prime Minister Phillips also stated that Guyana’s modern agriculture will help to empower young and upcoming entrepreneurs, which is something the Government is “very passionate about”.

“We continue to seek opportunities for young people in agriculture to offer them diversified and viable career options when they leave school.”

He noted that past students of the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), the University of Guyana (UG), and other budding young agriculture entrepreneurs are piloting the flagship Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme, which aims to attract more local farmers to grow niche vegetables using shade house and hydroponic technology.

“So, I encourage the exhibitors to continue to invest in yourselves and continue in your determination, to build your businesses and this sector. I wish to also encourage our young people to take note of the many opportunities that are available in agriculture and view this sector as a worthwhile option in the range of earning and career possibilities.”

Furthermore, the Prime Minister praised the organisers and spoke about the importance of working together to develop the country.

“All eyes are on Guyana right now, so every move we make, regardless of which part of the country we are, must count towards representing the best of who we are and build on what we already have in terms of development.”

The Prime Minister’s wife, Mrs Mignon Bowen-Phillips, was also at the event.

The two-day Agro Trade Fair and Expo (October 28 and 29) will showcase and promote local businesses, particularly those involved in agro-processing. It is also expected to connect producers and consumers while improving and expanding regional trade opportunities.