FAO integral to increasing sustainability of agri-food system regionally – Min Mustapha

The assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is key in supporting the development of a comprehensive, early warning system for multiple hazards in the sector, and supporting access to credit and insurance.

In fact, the organisation could play an essential role in improving water management, developing the food supply chain, enhancing trade, and promoting the adoption of digital innovations and relevant technology.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

This was highlighted by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Monday, during the opening ceremony ofFAO’s 38th Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC38), at Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal.

As the region continues to work closely with the FAO, Minister Mustapha said the organisation’s regional priorities and strategic endeavours must align closer with the national and regional policies to support and enhance capabilities and knowledge.

He explained that the transition of the conference into the ministerial segment is set to foster even greater cooperation, strategies, and essential topics including sustainability, transformation, and food security, while addressing climate change issues for future plans.

Opening ceremony of LARC38 at the ACCC on Monday

There is a need to improve initiative, financial support, and concrete action to increase the resilience and sustainability of the agri-food system to overcome the impacts of climate change and food insecurity in light of the region’s high vulnerability,” he emphasised.

In the region, President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali is at the forefront of championing the concept of regional transformation of the food system.

Guyana has launched numerous initiatives focused on ensuring that sustainable agriculture remains a fundamental pillar for national and regional development.

Among these prominent initiatives include the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP), the hydroponics project, the production of corn and soybeans, zinc-enriched biofortified rice, the production of shrimp and prawns, and the advancement of the livestock sector,among others.

Opening ceremony of LARC38 at the ACCC on Monday

These initiatives, the agriculture minister added, will ensure that the sector provides a healthy and affordable diet for all.

These measures and investments also align with the strategic call to action in reducing the region’s US$6 billion food importation bill significantly by the year 2025. 

He also emphasised that these large infrastructural projects are being undertaken to create the necessary framework for farmers who are working every day to bring food to the table. Guyana remains vibrant and continues to lead the charge towards transforming the region’s agriculture food system, in consort with the FAO’s regional and global efforts.