Guyana to establish USD 14m regional food hub

Guyana is taking a lead role in the Caribbean Agriculture sector with the establishment of the Regional Food Hub.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha as he made a presentation in a meeting with the President of the Islamic Development Bank H.E. Dr Mohammed Sulaiman on Monday.

The land for the facility has already been identified on the Soesdyke /Linden Highway and it will cost some USD 14 Million.

Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Zulfikar Mustapha, Ministry of Agriculture, Senior Minister within the Office of the President Dr Ashni Singh, on a field visit to one of Guyana’s major agriculture projects.

“We want this Guyana here to be the food hub. The primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean, don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water. Now with the investment coming on board, we can modernize the infrastructure, and start ramping up of the productions,” he stated.

Minister Mustapha said Guyana is looking to play a lead role in reducing the Caribbean’s food import bill by 2025.

He noted that Guyana will work with the State of Roraima in Brazil to form a partnership in the development of the Hub.

Senior Minister within the Office of the President Dr Ashni Singh said the government have been in discussions with the Prime Minister of Barbados about sourcing inputs from Northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.

“We see the regional food hub as very much a regional initiative…as a piece of infrastructure that will contribute to a more efficient market for agricultural products, across the entire Caribbean and Northern South America,” Dr Singh said.

He noted that this will also give rise to the growing logistics industry in Guyana moving goods, services, and people. The project will be partly funded by the government.

Minister Mustapha stated that the mission of Guyana is clear, and that is to make the local agriculture sector more competitive while developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.

Meanwhile, this move was commended by Dr Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser.

“I think to have a target to be the Caribbean hub for food. I think that’s a great ambition and it’s doable and I think the highway that will participate with you in building…connecting you with the largest economy in South America. You have a huge market. Whatever you produce here, you could sell there, and whatever you need you can bring from there also,” he said.

The establishment of modern farms increased use of technology and more efficient farm practices are also the goal.

Additionally, Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser’s visit follows the conclusion of the United Nations General Assembly, which saw fruitful discussions related to the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).