Gov’t ready to co-invest in agro-processing facilities to boost agri production in hinterland areas

Vice President

The government has expressed interest inco-investing with private sector enterprises to develop agro-processing facilities in hinterland areas in an effort to boost agriculture production and attain food security.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo at a press conference on Thursday explained that it is difficult for residents in the hinterland areas to participate in the oil and gas industry, which is why the government is pushing to develop the agriculture sector in these communities.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“The government is prepared to put the investment in, even co-investing in processing facilities with businesses. So, if they produce the stuff, we can co-invest with someone to get this done,” Dr Jagdeo expressed.

Additionally, a major nursery will be established in Region One to deal with the issue of the lack of planting materials for plantain production.

Dr Jagdeo said the Ministry of Agriculture is tasked with upgrading certifications for agro-processors in the hinterland so that, “Our products can sail directly into the Caribbean from these areas, without having to come to the coast, because the coast cannot be a market for their plantains. They would face serious competition from growers who are producing on the coast already.”

He said this programme is being worked upon in all areas that haveexperienced challenges in the agriculture sector including Matthew’s Ridge, Aranka, Four Miles and Mabaruma.

It also aims to expand the range of products that Guyana is currently producing and exporting.  This forms part of a wider aggressive food security agenda that is being led by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Aliin the Caribbean Community.

Meanwhile, the government has recommencedengagements with India to develop the local spice industry.

“We have resumed all the discussions we have had with India . On greater productivity in the rice sector and cane by maybe even doubling the output in these sectors with just a change in the variety of the plants that we use,” he added.
Guyana is leading the Caribbean region in reducing the US$5 billionimport billto 25 per cent by the year 2025.

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