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Gov’t to invest additional $50M to develop Meadow Bank Wharf

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The government will invest an additional $50 million to further rehabilitate Meadow Bank Wharf in Georgetown, aiming to enhance its aesthetic appeal for fish vendors.

The initiative is part of ongoing efforts since 2020 to modernise the fishing industry and improve safety for fisherfolk.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali interacts with a fisherman at Meadow Bank Wharf during a visit in March

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha made the announcement on Wednesday, during the National Fisherfolk Day celebration at the Uitvlugt Community Centre, Region Three.

“We will build sheds, we will put in water and stalls for the fishmongers who are selling there,” Minister Mustapha revealed.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha delivering remarks at the event

Recently, a contract worth approximately $75 million was awarded for the wharf’s refurbishment, responding to concerns raised by vendors and fishermen.

These interventions were prompted by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, who visited the facility on several occasions and engaged directly with vendors and customers.

Meanwhile, some $125 million will be invested to enhance the Three Door Sluice structure at D’Edwards Village, Region Five including the construction of a new wharf, sheds, and tarmac.

Scene from the National Fisherfolk Day event at Uitvlugt Community Centre

A similar investment of around $75 million is planned for the reconstruction of the Rosignol Wharf, equipped with storage facilities, a fisherfolk shed, and fuel installations.

Guyana has seen substantial growth in the fishing and aquaculture sub-sector, expected to expand by 15 per cent this year with a budget allocation of $1.2 billion.

Recent initiatives include distributing $15 million in artisanal vessel monitoring devices to improve fishing practices, with plans to install monitoring systems over the next three to five years.

Fisherfolk at the National Fisherfolk Day event at Uitvlugt Community Centre

The government has also allocated $2.5 million to combat illegal fishing practices in Guyana’s exclusive economic zones, benefiting over 10,000 fisherfolk and protecting valuable marine resources.

During his remarks, Minister Mustapha highlighted the significant contributions of fisherfolk to the country’s growth and food security agenda.

He emphasised that efforts are also underway to lift the ban on catfish exports, which currently prevents Guyana from exporting the commodity.

Scene from the National Fisherfolk Day event at Uitvlugt Community Centre

“These efforts are essential not only in protecting our valuable marine resource but also ensuring our fisherfolk can continue to strive in the face of environmental and economic challenges,” the minister underscored.

This year’s National Fisherfolk Day is themed ‘Protecting Livelihoods, establishing a Safe and sustainable environment for our fisherfolk.’

Fishermen were commended for their tireless commitments and sacrifices, as they continue to provide affordable, nutritious seafood to thousands of households.

Representatives from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), including Dr Gillian Smith, and Chief Fisheries Officer Denzil Roberts also spoke at the event.

Scene from the National Fisherfolk Day event at Uitvlugt Community Centre

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