GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Ministry of Agriculture is on a drive to increase sugar production to 450,000 tonnes in six years, while raising food production and security in other crops along with the major exports of rice and sugar.
“This 2013-2020 strategy is a comprehensive strategy that expands the approach of agriculture in Guyana and sets a new bar…This strategy also very vigorously rejects the notion that agriculture is for people who cannot make it in any other profession,” Agriculture Minister, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said at the launch Saturday of the drive, entitled “Agriculture, our vehicle for sustained economic and social prosperity.”
“It vigorously rejects the notion that agriculture is only about subsistence livelihood, this strategy in fact adopts the approach that agriculture is one of the most robust methods of generating wealth, ” he said.
One of the strategy’s goals will be focused on ensuring agriculture continues to be a catalyst for building the country’s export portfolio beyond the export of sugar, rice and rum. It also targets the reduction of the importation of goods into Guyana.
“This strategy is so designed that corn will become an agriculture product of Guyana not only to meet our local demands, but also to meet a part of the CARICOM demand,” Minister Ramsammy explained.
“We believe that the Caribbean has no need to import corn and soya from outside of CARICOM. We believe that all of CARICOM’s demand for corn and soya for the livestock industry can be supplied by the agriculture industry of Guyana, Belize and Suriname,” he said.
Government stated that in a step towards production of corn and soya, the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute is currently finalising the methodology for large-scale production of the two crops.