– dialogue with int’l donor agencies favourable as Gov’t continues to make strides to develop productive sectors
With Guyana now gaining Regional and International recognition for being the latest nation to discover oil, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha has given Government’s assurance that investments will continue to be made to sustain and develop the agriculture and other productive sectors.
The Minister was at the time speaking on the recent engagement Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, had with Country Representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Maija Peltola.
Minister Mustapha said that earlier in the year, the focus was solely on developing Guyana’s oil and gas sector.
“Prior to August, 2020, the previous administration seemed to have all their attention on only the developing oil and gas sector. If we look at countries like Venezuela who only focused on their O&G sector and neglected their other productive sectors, they are currently facing a serious economic crisis. Our Government is determined to ensure we continue to invest and develop our other productive sectors. One day the reserves will run dry but agriculture is here to stay. Our people have to eat and they have to earn and we know that the agriculture sector remains one of the largest employers in the country. We will not make the mistake of neglecting our other productive sectors. There is a renewed interest in the sector given the support and initial investments made from Budget 2020. I can promise that things will only get better for the agriculture sector,” Minister Mustapha said.
Minister Mustapha also disclosed that Budget 2021 will focus on implementing and executing larger projects, as well as opening more lands for agriculture, improving the country’s drainage and irrigation infrastructure and capabilities, developing Hinterland agriculture, intensifying extension services, developing the other crops and livestock sectors and improving the sector’s marketability when promoting non-traditional crops and agro-processed commodities.
Back in September of this year, Minister Mustapha had a virtual meeting with the IFAD Country Representative, during which they discussed current projects and the possibility for new projects to further develop Guyana’s agriculture sector.