Georgetown, Guyana, August 15, 2016 (IICA). The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the National Science and Technology Board of Mexico (CONACYT) signed an agreement on September 27, 2011 to establish a scholarship programme aimed at professionals from the agricultural sector in the hemisphere.

The agreement provides on an annual basis 100 scholarships to young professionals for post graduate programmes aimed for the development of competitive, sustainable and inclusive agriculture in the Americas.

As a result of this Agreement, four (4) Guyanese students have benefitted during the years, the most current being Ms. Analesa Skeete, Research Assistant at the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), who was awarded a Scholarship on June 29 last to pursue her Master in Biological Sciences at the Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán (CICY).

In 2014, Ms. Skeete was among the fourteen (14) students who have benefitted from the technical training activities, under the Secretariat of Agriculture (SAGARPA) of Mexico and IICA signed Agreement to train 150 Technical Personnel from the Caribbean in priority areas.  At that time she was exposed to training in Plant Pathology Techniques.

Ms. Skeete has been assigned to the Project “Management Strategy for the Control of Raoiella Indica Hirst (Red Palm Mite)” in Guyana since 2013 and has also been dealing with common pest and diseases affecting coconut in Guyana. Her interest and experiences have led her to receive training locally from experts affiliated with the Mexican National Institute of Research on Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock (INIFAP) at NAREI during April, 2015, under a bilateral agreement between the Governments of Guyana and Mexico with support from IICA.

Guyana stands to benefit tremendously upon Ms. Skeete’s completion, who will be specialized in pest and diseases of coconuts, which is a priority to the Government of Guyana since the country currently does not have many professionals pursuing this field.  IICA Delegation in Guyana is proud to be associated with this capacity building activity and is committed to facilitate the development of the professional careers of young innovative technical specialists to boost the agricultural sector in Guyana through the provision of CONACYT/IICA Scholarships.