Guyana to host 38th Regional Conference for Latin America and Caribbean in 2024

Guyana is set to host the 38th Session of the Regional Conference for Latin America and Caribbean come 2024, following the signing of a Memorandum of Responsibility between the government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd and FAO’s Assistant Director General, Dr. Julio Berdejue inked the historic document on Friday, on the sidelines of the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd and FAO’s Assistant Director General, Dr. Julio Berdejue following the signing ceremony.

The conference will see a number of ministers from several large agri-food states within the region deliberating on priorities for the food sector, healthy diets, inclusive rural societies, and sustainable agriculture.

The forum will also offer space for member states to work with FAO and provide guidance on the effective implementation of the organisation’s strategic framework, in line with the regional specificities of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Minister Todd said the session feeds directly into the administration’s development trajectory, as agriculture is the central pillar for driving the economy.

“And you have heard the President mention over and over again that we are about diversification, we are at a very good position in terms of our resource with the oil and gas revenues to rally and make massive gains in terms of our diversification process. And we have to do that by being fully within the global economy.”

He said the signing of the agreement is a “good marriage of moving Guyana forward” and Guyana is committed and will put the resources necessary to ensure that the event is successful.

“We are willing to provide leadership in Guyana and within Caricom, and the broader region because we are going to ensure that we do what we have to do interim of global food security, which is another conversation we have to have,” Minister Todd added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, and Dr. Berdejue also signed an agreement to further advance FAO’s country programming framework for Guyana from 2022 to 2026.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, and Dr. Julio Berdejue signing the document.

The thematic areas include transformation to more sustainable agriculture food systems; resilient value chains and agriculture communities with enhanced disaster risk management capacity.

The inking of the document also provides for increased use of digitisation and ICT to enhance efficiency and competitiveness in agriculture; and the de-risking of the agriculture food system.

Minister Mustapha emphasised that the signing ceremony is important, since the collaboration will aid in addressing some of the dire needs of agriculturists.

He said Guyana has been receiving significant assistance from the FAO in a number of areas, as he referenced the ongoing collaboration between the organisation and the agriculture ministry to determine the cause for low fish catches in Guyana.

“I am hoping that very shortly we can have that report come out so that we can know exactly what is taking place there. That is just one aspect of the cooperation that we have had, and on behalf of the government I want to say thanks,” Minister Mustapharelayed.

Dr. Berdejue has expressed his commitment to supporting the government in the coming years. “We have been working with the country for many years, and we will continue to be here,” he affirmed.


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