Today, the Ministry of Agriculture’s National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) that will see youths and women benefitting from training in climate-smart agricultural practices.
The programme is being executed as part of WUSC’s Sustainable Agriculture Caribbean (SAC) project which promotes climate-resilient agriculture for equitable economic growth among women and youth in the Caribbean. It builds on learning from the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project. SAC is a multi-country economic growth project, funded by Global Affairs Canada that is being implemented in Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Suriname.
While speaking at the event, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said with climate change having such a negative impact on agriculture in the region and globally, Guyana was pleased to be a part of the SAC project since it focuses on offering training to farmers on climate-smart agricultural practices.
“This project, the SAC project, was launched last September and we are seeing it bear fruit. This is very important for us as a country, a country that is now moving its agriculture sector to new heights. Partnerships with advanced countries like Canada auger well for us because today, Guyana is being seen as the leader for agriculture in the CARICOM. For us to be the leader, we have to continue to develop our sector locally. This project will also enable us to advance towards a more climate-resilient agricultural sector. With climate change posing one of, if not, the biggest threat to our agriculture sector, having a more climate-resilient agriculture sector is very important. The government also recognizes the need to integrate more youths into the agriculture sector. With the recently launched Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme youths are now involved in the production of high-value crops. With this collaboration we will be able to boost our agriculture sector and move it forward,” the minister said.
Also present at the event was the Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, H.E. Mark Berman. He said that the Canadian Government was pleased to offer support to the Government of Guyana through the SAC project as it works towards achieving the country’s targets outlined in the 2021 – 2025 Agriculture Strategic Development Strategy.
“Canada, through the SAC project, is very pleased to support the Government of Guyana’s Agriculture Development Strategy 2021-2025 and the achievement of country targets for food system transformation and resilience. This transformation process requires farmers and other market system actors to have the knowledge and skill needed for the adoption of best practices and innovations and is a priority area for the SAC project. The SAC project will focus on all forms of training, support, and skills development for women’s entrepreneurship, including mentoring and coaching as an integral part of a lifelong entrepreneurial learning approach for the development of key competencies. I want to commend the Government of Guyana for its demonstrated commitment to the effective implementation of the SAC project and its leadership to transform the agricultural sector in Guyana,” H.E. Burman said.
The WUSC also donated several items to NAREI’s training department to commence the two agencies’ cooperation, including laptop computers, projectors, screens, electric cables, and a loudspeaker.