A sum of $19.4 billion has been set aside for several projects and upgrades that will maximize production in the agriculture sector.
These improvements and development in the sector for 2018 were disclosed by Finance Minister, Winston Jordan when he presented the 2018 budget to the National Assembly on Monday.
Focusing on production transformation and diversification of the agriculture sector, Minister Jordan pointed out that, “global issues that affect agricultural production across the world have led us to a point in history which forces countries to approach agricultural development in a climate-change resilient, environmentally sustainable manner.”
Included in this amount is a total of $265 million which has been allocated for the design and construction of an agricultural centre and reservoir in Lethem. Also, to be looked at is the upgrade of the Research Station at Ebini.
These stations will facilitate research programmes in cassava, peanuts, orchards, livestock, and pasture development in the Savannahs, and will complement the existing demonstration-farms for turmeric, black pepper and ginger in Hosororo and Mabaruma Region One.
Minister Jordan explained that “The development of agriculture in these areas would result in a more resilient industry that will no longer be affected by the coastal threats caused by climate change.”
At the beginning of this year, the administration largely shifted the focus of the agriculture sector in order to combat climate change. Agencies of the Ministry of Agriculture including the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority have been conducting research programmes and studies to sustain farming and livestock rearing in the hinterland.
The Finance Minister added that “discussions have begun with a view to conducting a feasibility study for the most suitable options for the opening up of the Linden-Ituni-Kwakwani and Kwakwani-Ebini corridors. The development of agriculture in these areas would result in a more resilient industry that will no longer be affected by the coastal threats caused by climate change.”