Agriculture Month 2018 was officially launched today in the Ministry’s compound under the theme “Shaping Agriculture for a Green Economy”.
The month long activities began with an annual Interfaith Service, which saw a number of ministry personnel and other special invitees in attendance.
While delivering the feature address, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder explained the significance of this year’s theme and the ministry’s role in making Guyana a Green Economy.
“A Green Economy is one where the economy, society, and environment are taken into account. It seeks to highlight the new path which is being crafted under our Green State Development Strategy – the blue print for a better quality of life for all Guyanese,” Holder said.
Minister Holder further stated that Guyana has been advocating the sustainable development agenda and is committed to shaping a green economy to guarantee that sustainable development is synonymous with national development.
The programme saw a number of cultural and religious items that spoke of agriculture’s history and its role in uniting society and ensuring survival.
Also delivering remarks, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd said that sustainable use of agricultural practices from stakeholders can all play a vital role in ensuring that a sustainable agricultural system is realised.
“In moving towards green productive agriculture, improvements in production systems and crop and livestock breeding programmes can result in significant increases in food production. One knows that with investments in proper facilities, quality assurance, processing and alliances with partners to enable access to new markets, non-traditional agriculture can become a sustainable engine for economic growth,” Ms. Nedd said.
Noting that agriculture provides significant opportunities for growth, investment and jobs, Minister Holder said that the ministry aims to re-orient and diversify the sector.
“The Ministry of Agriculture aims to contribute towards this goal through sustainable, productive, climate resilient and diversified agriculture. Specifically, the re-orientation and diversification of the sector, reducing reliance on traditional sub-sectors and opening new, higher valued added and higher growth, industries and investment opportunities for sustainable income generation,” Minister Holder said.
The subject Minister also lobbied for all Guyanese to play a role in ensuring a Green Economy is achieved and encouraged persons to participate in the ministry’s Tree Planting initiative.
“In shaping a green economy – everyone has a role to play. For instance, you can participate as we observe our National Tree Day on Friday, October 5 and plant a tree in your community….as is urged by the theme, “Trees. Good for the community…great for the country”. Minister Holder said.
Some of the activities planned for the month are FAO’s World Food Day Exhibition and Fair, MOA’s agencies’ Open Day, the Guyana Shop’s Anniversary Celebrations, the Pesticide and Toxic Chemicals Control Board’s Pesticide awareness in secondary schools drama competition, etc.
Minister Holder also echoed the call for youths to get more involved in agriculture.
“To shape agriculture for a green economy we must involve our youths, since we have an aging farming population. We believe it’s important to spark the interest in agriculture while at school, so that youths will choose to specialize in agricultural fields in their tertiary education. I urge all schools to participate in the Annual Agriculture Open Day at Mon Repos on October 19th,” Minister Holder said.
This year, several agencies will place emphasis on the use of alternative energy as a means of reducing the cost of production for commodities. Exhibitions like the National Green Expo and the NAREI/IICA Alternative Energy Supply Event at the Guyana National Stadium will directly address and expound on these initiatives.