Investment conference to advance CARICOM’s agri food agenda

Members of the public and private sectors within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will consult on major agriculture investment opportunities, when a massive conference and expo opens here from May 19-21, this year.

The session will see intense consultations between major stakeholders on investment matters and opportunities.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

During a media conference at State House on Sunday, His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, said the decision was taken by the CARICOM Heads.

“We already have in our possession an offer to negotiate with Republic Bank a very substantial financing package to help the region in achievement of this target.

“We already have proposals and assistance being given to us from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and many other partners,” Dr. Ali stated.

He said the investment forum would be critical for the advancement of the agriculture food system 25 by 2025 programme.

The drive includes all CARICOM countries which are working to reduce the region’s multi-billion-dollar food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.

Importantly, President Ali told journalists that the issue of transportation and logistics for the period is being sorted out.

He said a decision was made to reach out to the private sector, through expressions of interest for finance and operation management proposals for the movement of cargo, people, and vehicles.

“We have also decided as part of that investment forum, every country will give their list of incentives that they will give towards an investment like this that will bring solution to the transport and logistic hurdle that we face as a region for intra-regional trade.”

The President said Guyana is currently in talks with Guatemala and Honduras to assist with revitalising and improving coffee production and other high value crops including palm oil.

Accordingly, he said the assistance will in the form of technical support, and the twinning of opportunities from all aspects.

The end result of the efforts will bring about sustainability, job creation and economic expansion, among other things, the President emphasised.

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