No beef shortage in Guyana – Minister Mustapha

– inclement weather, Covid affecting transportation

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha on Wednesday said there is no shortage of beef locally, and that the Government is working to ensure the commodity can reach consumers despite the constraints of the inclement weather and Covid.

The Minister made the announcement during a consultation with stakeholders in the beef industry at his office.

In recent weeks, concerns have been raised by consumers and meat vendors about a reduction in beef supplies and a hike in prices due to limited quantities.

The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) conducted an assessment of these complaints and found that the weather and Covid were affecting the transportation of the meat from wholesalers to the markets.

“We can safely conclude that there is not a shortage of beef in the country, but they are some problems with supply and we can resolve that supply problem.

As Government, it is very important that we sit with you, the main stakeholders in the industry, and look at what is causing some of the issues, and the factors which have also caused an increase in the cost of this important commodity,” Minister Mustapha told the meeting.  

Minister of Agriculture Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha during the meeting

He said efforts are being made to ensure the quality and quantity of beef remain sufficient for the populace.

“My main aim as the Minister of Agriculture, and the Government’s aim is to ensure that the cost of the meat is reachable. Consumers must afford to be able to purchase it and we don’t have a shortage.

In the case of beef, the Government is putting systems in place to ensure our local producers and stakeholders benefit handsomely from our interventions,” he added.

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha (at the head of the table) and several stakeholders during the consultation today. Also, in picture (to the Minister’s right) is the Ministry’s Director-General and Chairman of the GLDA, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj

Minister Mustapha commended the stakeholders for attending the meeting, adding that it shows their interest in ensuring food security locally.

Statistics have shown that almost six million pounds of beef were produced locally in 2020, with the current price ranging between $360 to about $600 per pound.

Meanwhile, Mr. Michael Welch, GLDA’s Livestock Industry Development Specialist, stressed the significant contribution livestock makes to Guyana’s GDP. He said Guyana’s total domestic beef consumption stands at about three million kilogrammes, and more than 90 per cent of that amount is produced locally.