Palestinian Ambassador pays courtesy call to Agri. Minister – encourages investment to further develop local sector
Ministry of Agriculture, Guyana, November 10, 2016
Non-Resident Palestinian Ambassador, H.E. Dr. Linda Sobeh Ali, today paid a courtesy call to Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder. Given Guyana’s continued support to Palestine over the years, the Ambassador has plans to actively be involved in the development of several sectors, specifically agriculture. With Palestine’s strong background in agriculture, Guyana stands to benefit heavily from a number of projects and investments in the sector.
Ambassador Sobeh indicated that Palestine is always competing with other countries in Asia to be ahead in agricultural advances.
“We are very skilled in seed banking, greenhouses agriculture, artificial insemination, poultry farms, etc. We are looking now to cooperate with your country in many of these areas to transfer best practice knowledge and develop the sector.” Ambassador Sobeh said.
Capacity building will also be looked at as the Ambassador indicated that this area remains priority and can be facilitated through the Palestinian International Corporation Agency (PICA).
Additionally, the Ambassador indicated that her team is willing to assist with trials of different crops that are not native to Guyana.
“We have a similar climate to Guyana and we grow grapes. We are open to doing soil tests and trials to grow grapes and other fruits that are not native to Guyana.” Ambassador Sobeh said.
Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder, in thanking the Ambassador Sobeh for Palestine’s willingness to invest and further develop the sector, pointed to the fact that Guyana is not very familiar with the agricultural advances of Palestine.
“Having a better understanding of your agricultural practices will inform on how we proceed and in the particular areas collaborations can be possible. It would be very helpful for a team from Guyana to visit Palestine to gain a better understanding of your best practices, which will in turn, set the field for the corporation.” Minister Holder said.
Advances in the Rice Industry
With Palestine being a large consumer of rice, Ambassador Sobeh specified that she is also open to cooperating with Guyana to engage in rice cultivation. She indicated that investors are eager to invest in projects to develop lands for rice cultivation and export.
“Investors are looking to work and invest at the same time and possibly export to the Caribbean and other parts of the world from Guyana.” Ambassador Sobeh said.
With more land developed and more rice under cultivation, Guyana will be able to obtain larger markets for rice given the fact that it will now be able to satisfy the quantities required to tap into these larger markets.
The Ambassador will present a draft Corporation Agreement Framework next week to the Agriculture Minister. Once all requirements are met, provisions will be made for a team of investors and agriculture experts to visit Guyana to explore areas for development.
“We are currently stuck on the coast which is threatened by climate change. We are working towards moving our agriculture base inland so this is where your investors can help us because we have a vast country but only occupy a very small percentage of it.” Minister Holder said.
In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to accord Palestine ‘Non- Member Observer State’ status and the state has been working to build and strengthen diplomatic relations with a number of countries across the world.