Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P. said in order to further drive the agri-food sector in the region, there must be sustained commitment and innovation from CARICOM leaders.
The minister was speaking during the opening ceremony of the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo on Thursday last.
“While we must feel a tremendous sense of pride in what we produce, we must be cognisant of the greater heights that can be scaled through sustained commitment and innovation,” he said.
The inaugural event was spearheaded by the Government of Guyana in partnership with CARICOM to commercialise the agri-food sector and reduce the region’s food import bill by 25 percent by 2025.
Minister Mustapha further stated that the time is now for CARICOM countries to address global issues such as food security, and ensuring there is efficiency in every aspect of agriculture.
“This forum helps to facilitate promotion, engagement and informed dialogue among key stakeholders along the agri-food value chain of policy makers, development partners, foreign and local private investors, farmers, distributors and how investment could be encouraged and the 25 percent by 2025 programme can be accelerated.”
Meanwhile, CARICOM leaders have shown unwavering commitment to President Irfaan Ali’s vision of prioritising the agriculture sector, and ensuring food security, both regionally and internationally.
“Our individual and collective potential are not an issue as we heard from many leaders, and our commitment was demonstrated here.
This forum therefore, creates that springboard and motivation to achieve the true intent of this initiative,” Minister Mustapha told the audience.
The three-day event was a huge success as investors, farmers, foreign and local citizens gathered at the Arthur Chung Conference center to discuss ideas and solutions for investing in the sector while also laying the necessary foundation to achieve food-security and achieving the “25 by 2025” goal.