Govt’s agriculture investments not ‘short-sighted’ — Min. Mustapha

The government’s continuous investment in the agriculture sector to achieve food security is characteristic of long-term visionary leadership.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, emphasised the point during a meeting with Mahaicony farmers last week.

During the meeting, he outlined that the government has invested a tremendous amount towards the development of agriculture in the country—a move he said was much unlike the ‘short-sighted’ decision by the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Government to prioritise investment in the oil and gas sector.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

“In Guyana, we are very fortunate, that we are producing 60 per cent of the food we are consuming. But we are not satisfied with that as a government. We want to produce all the food,” he said.

He noted that for this reason, Guyana has not only begun to diversify its crop and livestock output but has partnered with other countries to reduce the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) import bill by 25 per cent by the year 2025, so that Guyana can become a primary food producer for the region.

“When the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago came to the oil summit, I had discussions with Prime Minister [Dr Keith] Rowley. Today, they are importing rice seeds from Guyana to start back rice production in Trinidad and Tobago,” Minister Mustapha pointed out, noting that collaborations are ongoing with Barbados as well.

“We are now having our technical staff in Barbados, working with them to develop their agriculture sector, develop their aquaculture sector. Who expected, or ever thought that a place like Barbados would do aquaculture? Barbados’ economy is built on tourism. But it’s for the long-term benefit,” he expressed.

President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, has time and again spoken of the government’s food security agenda for the Caribbean.

The government is aiming to secure Guyana as a leader in areas of food, climate, and energy security, not just for Guyana and the region, but on the world stage as well.