Increase in exports of non-traditional agricultural commodities amid COVID – 19 pandemic

Guyana has recorded a 9% increase in the export of non-traditional agricultural commodities from January to December 2020 when compared to the same period in 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, a total of 9,907 metric tonnes of non-traditional agricultural commodities valued at GY2.5 billion or US $12 Million were exported from Guyana. This increase is due to a 20% (8217 metric tonnes) and 44% (419 metric tonnes) increase in the export of dried coconuts and coconut water respectively.

Further, in the year 2020 Guyana also recorded a 110% (2,194 metric tonnes) increase in Regional exports of non-traditional agricultural commodities. The major Regional export destinations in 2020 were Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, and Antigua.

Of the total non-traditional agricultural exports, 99% (9805 metric tonnes) was shipped via sea, representing a 14% increase when compared to the year 2019. Meanwhile, 1% (102 metric tonnes) of non-traditional agricultural commodities were exported via air in 2020. The 102 metric tonnes represents an 82% decline in exports via air. This decline is mainly as a result of the temporary cessation of flights by Caribbean Airlines in 2020 due to the closure of the international airports, a measure put in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Consequently, there were declines in the exports of mangoes, bora, boulanger, pineapple, eddo, and peppers in 2020when compared to the year 2019.Most of these commodities are exported mainly to Canada and the USA.

Moreover, the country saw an increase in the export of commodities such as coconut water, pepper sauce, achar, sauces, cassava cassareep, and preserved fruits when compared to the year 2019.

The Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) will continue to work aggressively to ensure this trend is maintained in 2021 and the years ahead. GMC’s Officers will continue to create linkages between buyers and sellers of non-agricultural commodities. The ongoing facilitation of the use of the Corporation’s Packaging Facilities will also continue. 

The table below provides information on the fifteen (15) most exported commodities along with their respective export destinations for the year 2020.

Top 15 Commodities Exported For 2020
1CoconutsDominican Republic, Trinidad, USA, Barbados, Antigua
2Coconut waterCanada, USA, Trinidad, St. Kitts, Dominica
4PumpkinCanada, Barbados,  Antigua
5WatermelonBarbados, Antigua
6Heart of palmFrance
7EddoCanada, Barbados,  Antigua, USA ,Suriname
7SaucesCanada, Barbados, USA, England
8Cassava CassareepBarbados, Canada, USA
9Pepper sauceCanada, Barbados, USA, Antigua
10LimesBarbados, Guadeloupe, Antigua
11PineapplesCanada, Barbados, Suriname, Guadeloupe
12Crushed pepperTrinidad
13AcharCanada, USA