Director General of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Guyanese born Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, today called on Agriculture Minister, Hon. Noel Holder, where a number of areas for possible collaboration through research and development were discussed.
Among the areas discussed, the team will be looking to boost Guyana’s livestock capabilities with the introduction of a new model for dairy development in the tropics. Boosting the capabilities of extension officers is another area of which CATIE and the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will collaborate.
New Zealand has been utilizing the skills of CATIE for sponsored training of technical officers in central Latin America and the Caribbean and this will be extended to Guyana. A proposal will be developed shortly between CATIE and the Ministry of Agriculture for financing such training.
Research and Development have always been a high priority for the Ministry of Agriculture and through the aegis of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and GLDA, much has been achieved in this regard, assisting farmers in boosting their production and productivity.
While there have been successes, CATIE will be working with NAREI and the GLDA over the next few months where the exchange of genetic materials and exposure to dairy cooperative systems between Guyana and Costa Rica will be realized.
“Ensuring that NAREI has access to cultivars which show more resilience to climate change is important as we move forward with our cause for a green economy. Climate Change is real and unless we take a more adaptive approach to agriculture we cannot bridge that productivity gap,” the Minister said.
The Agriculture Minister, in welcoming the collaboration between the Institute and the Ministry stated that this augurs well for the advancement of agriculture in the CARICOM Region, and Guyana’s ability to address its US$4B import bill.
“With our research aspect strengthened, we (Ministry of Agriculture) will be better able to assist investors with not only new breeds but the high line of new genetic materials for crop production,” he said.
The aim of CATIE is to increase sustainable agricultural production and include the training of professionals in Latin America and the Caribbean with an enhanced focus on sustainable management of agriculture and conservation of natural resources.