Significant growth in the agriculture sector in 2022

Government remains keen on ensuring Guyana has a vibrant, diverse, and resilient agriculture sector and has implemented measures to guarantee its success.  

These measures have accounted for the major increase in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sector, which grew by 11.9 per cent in 2022.  

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, during the presentation of Budget 2023, attributed the massive increase to growth in other crops, including rice cultivation and livestock production.

“The other crops sector is estimated to have grown by a very commendable 15.3 per cent in 2022 with expansion observed across all crop categories. Significant growth recorded in the production of crops such as eddoes, coconuts, sweet potatoes, plantains, lettuce, and sweet peppers,” Dr Singh told the National Assembly.

The growth in these sub-sectors offsets the contractions in the sugar and the fishing sub-sectors.

An 8.1 per cent increase has been observed in rice production for 2022, which is reflective in the production of 610,599 metric tonnes. Rice yields increased to 5.9 tonnes per hectare in 2022, compared with 5.5 tonnes per hectare in 2021.

The livestock industry is also estimated to have expanded by 9 per cent in 2022. It is estimated that the production of pork, poultry meat, mutton, and beef grew by 15.8 per cent, 12 per cent, 10.1 per cent, and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Government’s efforts to modernise the aquaculture sector have yielded massive successes, as the production of brackish water shrimp grew by 454.1 per cent, reaching 621,000 kilos in 2022. Government has directly aided the success of this sub-sector, having constructed more than 60 shrimp ponds in 2021.

The forestry sector has seen a steady increase of 13.4 per cent in 2022, as compared to 11.3 per cent in 2021 and 8.1 per cent in 2020.

It is estimated that approximately 441,000 cubic metres of timber products were produced in 2022, largely on account of growing demand from the construction sector.

Some $32.6 billion was allocated to the agriculture sector in 2022, as the government sought to expand cultivation and production to reduce imports, increase exports, and foster diversification.

Guyana remains committed to the CARICOM 25 by 25 initiative, which aims to reduce the regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.