The promotion of a ‘Green Economy’ is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. In fact, it is one in which the vital linkages among the economy, society, and environment are taken into account.
This year, Agriculture Month will be celebrated under the theme, “Shaping Agriculture for a Green Economy.” It seeks to highlight not only the progress we as a government have made thus far, but the challenges which were overcome and the new path which is being crafted. A Green Economy is a blue print for a better quality of life for all Guyanese and it ensures a transition to sustainable economic growth. The Ministry of Agriculture aims to contribute towards this goal through sustainable, productive, climate resilient and diversified agriculture. Specially, the re-orientation and diversification of the sector, reducing reliance on traditional sub-sectors and opening new (higher valued added and higher growth industries) investment opportunities for sustainable income generation.
Agriculture Month 2018 marks this shift in our policy implementation in keeping with the outlines of a green economy. As Guyana (and the world at large) faces increasing challenges of the maintenance (and improvement) of our environment, agriculture productivity and natural resources; the discussion on a green economy and individual participation has never been more important. As such, the priority areas for the agricultural sector include productivity, diversification, value-added, infrastructure, capacity building and education, and food safety and security.
The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) defines a Green Economy as ‘one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.’ A green economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalysed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes. Policy changes which the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to advance.
The observance of our National Tree Day which will be held in Ebini on Friday the 5th of October under the theme, “Trees. Good for the community…great for the country” is another way of protecting and preserving our biodiversity thereby contributing to the achievement of a green economy. This year, emphasis will be placed on the use of alternative energy as a means of reducing the cost of production at the inaugural National Green Expo at the Guyana National Stadium on the 18th October and a Food Safety Symposium at the University of Guyana on the 25th of October.
This year’s celebration will also feature several activities to position Guyana to push for more environmentally friendly initiatives such as our World Food Day Observance at Whyaka, Region 2 on October 16 under the theme, “Working for Zero Hunger”, and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute Research Conference on October 22 and 23 which will renew our focus on hinterland agriculture, improving production and productivity through the adoption of green agricultural practices, climate change and sanitary and phytosanitary practices. As we tackle climate change via mitigation efforts, we will be commissioning the Three Friends Pump Station in Region Two on October 29th and later on the Buxton Pump station to assist in the drainage of our coastal areas; we will also target activities in rice, sugar, livestock and agro-processing and the other crops sub-sector. As the month long observance continues various agencies will show how important agriculture is to our economy. We will also place emphasis on our farmers and the sterling contribution they have made over the years to the nation’s wellbeing
The Ministry of Agriculture stands ready to contribute to the green economy approach with enhanced focus on sustainable development and poverty reduction importance in ensuring a better life for all Guyanese.
Hon. Noel Holder, M.P
Minister of Agriculture