Guyana, Suriname devise strategy to reach global markets

collaboration between countries’ Rice Boards revitalised 

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali has said Guyana and Suriname have devised an agriculture-related strategy that would see both countries supporting each other and reaping benefits from entering the North American, European and regional markets.

In a joint press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Thursday, President Ali stated that both countries are examining the possibilities in the poultry sector, in satisfying the demands of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

[From right] His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali and Suriname’s Head of State, His Excellency Chandrikapersad Santokhi during their joint press conference on Thursday

Further, the collaboration between the Rice Development Boards of Guyana and Suriname has been revitalised after some 12 years of dormancy. With this restored and strengthened relationship, the Rice Development Boards of both CARICOM member countries will be able to exchange data, ideas, policies and plans, as well as provide support to each other in areas of weaknesses.

In an engagement with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) also on Thursday, Suriname’s President, His Excellency, Chandrikapersad Santokhi, said his country is a huge exporter of rice to the European market. He was keen to note, however, that there is an unavailability of higher-grade of paddy seedlings which its European market is now demanding.

Notably, Guyana’s paddy seedlings are of an internationally-accepted quality and to this end, President Santokhi said Guyana has signaled its willingness to supply Suriname with the paddy seedlings it needs to grow the better quality of rice.

“When we came to Guyana I spoke with the President, I spoke with the private sector and we came up with the solution; that there will be seeds available from Guyana going to Suriname. This is what this visit is meant for; not for talking too much but taking decisions,” President Santokhi expressed.  

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, shared that Guyana is facilitating arrangements to have paddy seedlings moved to Suriname by the end of October.

Notably, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) titled Protocol concerning the Trade in Fresh Agricultural Produce was signed between Minister Mustapha and Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Parmanand Sewdien.

Its terms and conditions relate only to commercial shipments of agricultural produce. Its focus is on the local and organic production of the fresh produce by providing guidelines with respect to conditions under which they will be produced, stored in pack houses and eventually packaged and transported to each country.

Effort will be made to ensure international obligations, standards and guidelines are met, which relate to the production, certification, processing, packaging, storing and transporting of agricultural produce between the two countries.