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Guyana’s power lies in global ability to maximise food production, exports – Pres Ali

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Although Guyana is rich in resources, the nation’s true strength lies in its ability to produce and export food globally.

The government has developed an extensive agricultural plan that will be seamlessly integrated into the country’s overarching framework.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali Tuesday evening stressed Guyana’s potential to produce high-value products within the coming years.

He was at the time delivering the feature address at the New Guyana Marketing Corporation’s (GMC’s) annual awards ceremony and dinner, at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel.

President Ali said his government’s emerging strategies and strong investment in the agriculture sector are to create the enabling environment necessary for the country’s produce and products to be of esteemed standard and a differentiating brand on the regional and international market.

President Ali engages the Chairman of the Board of Directors at GMC, David Fernandes at the ceremony

The plan will assist in achieving the aim of reducing the food import bill as well as help Guyana save its foreign currency in corn, soya beans, and shrimp.

By 2027, it is expected that the country will be saving over US$60 million on the importation of the three key commodities alone.  

The president highlighted the benefit of agro-processing, noting its challenges such as capacity of scale which is the ability to introduce and sustain products on the market, and the proper packaging and processing of products.

President Ali also urged agro-processors and exporters to utilise the food processing facilities established by the GMC through the Ministry of Agriculture countrywide.

President Ali hands over awards to agro-processors and exporters

He said his government continues to invest in the necessary infrastructure and programmes to unleash the extreme potential of agriculture entrepreneurs to produce high-quality products.

“In the financing of the sector and within the next two to three years, a lot of resources will be set aside for agribusiness incubators. For an agro-processor to be successful, we must be able to mobilise them under a common roof and provide them with the technology, knowledge, and support services,” President Ali stated.

The government plans to establish regional and sub-regional hubs by procuring more agro-processing facilities in the various regions to improve the shelf life and ease the transportation and logistics of products.

President Ali hands over awards to agro-processors and exporters

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha emphasised the need for local producers to add more value to their products to gain recognition in the international market.

“We recognised that as a country for too long, we have been exporting primary product. Now is the time that we add value to our very own Guyanese products,” the agriculture minister underscored.

Since 2020, the number of agro-processors has increased drastically from 116 to 283.

Some 13 agro-processing facilities were established within various regions, while 90 Guyana shop corners were created.

President Ali shares a light moment with persons attending the annual awards ceremony and dinner, at the Ramada Georgetown Princess Hotel

One regional Guyana shop corner was developed in Barbados. 

Currently, the GMC houses 3,599 products of varying sizes and brands such as sauces, jams, and spices, among others items.

Within the past four years, the corporation invested over $468 million in agro-processing facilities, solar dryers, and other equipment to further boost the industry.

GMC’s General Manager, Teshawna Lall also gave remarks at the award ceremony.

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