Think bolder to capitalise on opportunities
-Finance Minister tells Region Two farmers
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, MP, has charged farmers of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) to think bolder as the country prepares for massive transformation.
The finance minister made the statement during a two-day Cabinet outreach to the lush agriculture region last weekend.
“This is the moment for boldness. This is the moment for boldness in Guyana. For a long time now, we have been doing things incrementally as a country. But if we are really to capitalise on the opportunities that we have, we really need to think and act in a bold manner.”
Dr. Singh reminded farmers that the government is committed to removing the red tapes that hinder business development in Guyana.
“You have an opportunity to really catapult the agriculture sector to a completely different level; larger scale of cultivation including where necessary through partnerships and joint ventures, including through possibly public-private partnerships.”
Even as the country moves to become an affluent oil and gas producer, the minister reminded that the PPP/C Administration will achieve a large, dynamic and prosperous agriculture sector.
Agriculture is one of the pillars that sustains the Guyanese population and provides economic stability. It contributes 20 per cent to the national gross domestic product (GDP); approximately G$70 billion to foreign earnings; employs 17 per cent of the population, and is crucial to food security and poverty reduction.
In the face of mismanagement of the agriculture industry under the former APNU+AFC Administration, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, has been steering his ministry to implement measures that will promote a diversified agriculture-based economy; create more jobs and increase income for farmers.
Efforts have been made through the modernisation and upgrading of infrastructure; strengthening support services; and building a robust marketing system at local and international levels.
The government is also committed to increasing Guyana’s market share by tapping into the US $5 billion food import bill of the CARICOM Region.
“The single most important sector of our economy historically has been agriculture. And going forward, the single most important sector in the non-oil economy will be agriculture,” the finance minister said.
Dr. Singh pointed out that the government will not only build its traditional products like sugar, rice and cash crops, but expand others like soya bean and corn.
With this new and diverse agriculture sector, the finance minister noted that it would bring in millions in revenue and create tremendous opportunities for Guyanese and investors.