Gov’t committed to ensuring sustainability of agri sector amid rising costs – VP Jagdeo

Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the sustainability of the agriculture sector, despite of the prevailing global economic environment that has led to fluctuating commodity prices.

This reassurance was given by Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, on Tuesday as he addressed rice farmers at the Anna Regina Secondary School.

Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo

The Vice President said the government continues to implement and examine measures that will buffer the effects of rising prices which cuts across various sectors.

Pointing to the increased fertilizer costs, he explained that “fertilizer is made from gas and crude oil, so if the price for the crude oil goes up so too will the fertilizer prices, so although we removed all of the taxes, the price went up because the price of oil went up nearly 400 percent.

“Secondly that pushed up all the prices, transportation cost etc., then with the pandemic many countries in the world stopped producing because they were shut down, so the factories that they’re supplying building materials, food etc., they stopped producing, so now we have a global shortage of goods, then the cost of freight went up that pushed the cost of living sky high.”

These and other factors related to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine have exacerbated the situation locally.

However, the Vice President assured that, “This is a government that is sympathetic, there are things we can do and there are things we can’t do, we have removed the taxes and we are pumping monies into some sectors.”

In addition to the removal of a slew of taxes, the increase in old age pension, the increase in the school uniform and Because We Care cash grants, among other measures, the government recently announced that there will be no increases in taxes on electricity and water.

Some of the rice farmers present at today’s meeting

Dr. Jagdeo also reiterated plans to invest in value added production in the agriculture sector, noting that contrary to opposition claims, funds from the oil and gas sector have not been spent.

He said prudent management of the oil funds is necessary to avoid the resource curse which has affected many oil producing countries around the world. Further, the Vice President explained the necessity of investing in the development of other sectors to keep the economy on a growth trajectory.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jagdeo, after listening to various concerns ventilated by the farmers, called on them to work along with the government through the regional administration and the various heads of agencies, so that their issues can be resolved amicably.

He noted that while the government may not be able to control the market prices, it continues to constantly examine ways to offset the financial burden on citizens.

Government officials, he ensured, remain accessible to all Guyanese.

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