Government has allocated $20.6B to further develop all its sub-sectors in an effort to promote agricultural diversification.
Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan while presenting the $250 Billion, 2017 National Budget on Monday, highlighted that despite contractions in the livestock sector there are plans in place to ensure that output and productivity are increased through a number of measures that are set to be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Meanwhile an expansion of the fishing industry is expected with diversified production methods, thereby expanding the country’s market potential.
The establishment of abattoirs and a tuna factory are expected to contribute to these sub-sectors, promoting a more diverse agricultural base. Government is hopeful that these industries will increase revenue significantly but work must be done in terms of ensuring that produce is of internationally acceptable quality.
Minister Jordan said, “To build a more robust and competitive livestock sub-sector, the Government will continue to focus on animal health, through greater disease surveillance and control, genetic improvements for enhanced productivity and profitability of cattle, and animal production… In addition, we will explore the option of the further promotion of deep sea fishing, as it is currently, an under-utilised resource that is within our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The private sector has already taken the initiative to pursue this option and has invested US$15 million in a processing plant for tuna– the first ever commercial tuna venture in the country.”
The establishment of two abattoirs in Regions Five and Nine has been projected for 2017. These facilities are expected to see improved breeding stock and better husbandry practices.
“Government will also train veterinary diagnostic laboratory technicians in areas such as microbiology, serology, pathology, and molecular biology,” Jordan added.
The Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) promotes greater efficiency in the livestock industry, provides enhanced services in livestock husbandry, livestock health and research which makes provision for effective administration, regulation of trade, commerce and export of livestock or livestock products.
The Fisheries Department of the Agriculture Ministry is responsible for managing, regulating and promoting the sustainable development of the nation’s fishery resources.
In 2017, expenditure in the agriculture sector will concentrate on rapid diversification and enhanced competitiveness. Monies allocated will strengthen the livestock and fisheries sub- sectors, increase cultivation and productivity in traditional agriculture, promote large-scale agriculture in the Intermediate and Rupununi Savannahs, and improve drainage and irrigation systems.