Non-Resident Czech Republic Ambassador pays courtesy call on Agri. Minister discusses gov’ts vision for taking agriculture to the next level
The Non-Resident Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Guyana, H.E. Jiří Havlík today paid a courtesy call on Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder at his Regent Street Office.
During the meeting, Minister Holder spoke of Government’s vision for taking Guyana’s agriculture to the next level and the steps his ministry has taken to achieve this.
“Guyana is going through a situation now where we have to decide where our destiny lies as it relates to agriculture. We are currently working towards moving our agriculture base inland. Our current agriculture base on the coast is being threatened by climate change. Government’s vision is to move the base to the interior regions in order to not only preserve Guyana’s agriculture but to further develop it. The main issue we are facing is access. Government is currently exploring avenues to finance the construction of a much-needed all-weather road. Acquiring such a road would open these regions to massive trade and development. We are continuously in talks with several international financing organisations to achieve this.” Minister Holder said.
The subject minister added that acquiring a deep water harbour along with the all-weather road would open doors of investment for the country as Countries like Brazil would then be able to use Guyana as a shortcut for their exports and Guyana, in turn, would be able to send commodities like rice, sugar and other products to these nations with trucks that are returning to the countries.
Ambassador Havlík said that during his visit, he has had meetings with several ministers of government who all indicated that agriculture was of major importance to the government.
“I’ve had several meetings with ministers and in all instances, agriculture has been first base in the programs for development. Even though my country has minimal diplomatic relation with Guyana, my government’s plan is to diversify our economy. We have an open economy – particularly 67% of our GDP is acquired through foreign trade. We have a very good reputation for the production of farming material and I think there is potential for a future to offer this to Guyana. ” Ambassador Havlík said.
Additionally, Minister Holder spoke of the ministry’s current projects in the region to warrant a smooth transition of the country’s agriculture base to the interior region. In this regard, agencies like the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) are currently involved in major projects to develop demonstration plots in the Rupununi and the Intermediate Savannahs as well as a massive livestock development program which will see Guyana rebuilding its herd to commence exporting of grass fed beef on a large scale in the near future.