– Initiative will ensure the reduction in the importation of meat
– compliance with international standards for meat processing
The government has promised that new opportunities to come in 2019 that will be of great benefit to local farmers.
According to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, the administration will continue to invest in infrastructure to support the diversification in the agriculture sector.
The minister says the government’s planned state-of-the-art abattoir at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice will be constructed in 2019, in accordance with international standards.
As he presented the National Budget on Monday, Minister Jordan said the government has commenced discussions with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to create a reverse linkage project in livestock and Halaal meat, which will result in the transfer of improved livestock breeds to increase production and productivity of Guyana’s beef stock.
“There is also the likelihood of accessing new markets in the Middle Eastern States for our Halaal meat products,’ Minister Jordan said.
He also revealed that government will be conducting a feasibility study to establish a Dairy value-chain, through the supply of improved breeding stock to farmers, milk chilling stations and refrigerated trucks, to supply fresh milk to a new milk plant that will be built at Diamond, East Bank Demerara.
The farm will be built by a leading Guyanese construction firm.
“Construction is targeted to commence in 2019. As this ambitious programme matures. The milk plant will produce re-constituted pasteurised milk for the local market.”
The minister also revealed that the government was urgently pursuing a much needed up-to-date and reliable statistical information hub on food and agricultural activities. This, he said, is to aid in the development of sound policies and plans for the agricultural sector.
“Such information is needed not only to guide in decision making for the development of the sector but also for monitoring and evaluation of development plans and projects. To this end, preliminary works have commenced executing a national agricultural census, in 2019”
In terms of legislation, Minister Jordan says a draft of the updated regulations for general food safety, abattoirs, meat, milk, poultry inspections and grading of eggs, fruits and vegetables has been completed.
He said the draft is currently being reviewed, and once finalized, these regulations will support the Food Safety Act and the Animal Welfare Act which will pave the way for new investment opportunities.