Guyana among several Caribbean countries to benefit from CA$10M agri-project

Guyana is among several Caribbean countries that will benefit from a new initiative, which seeks to enhance resilience against climate change and contribute to regional economic growth and food security.

The opportunity is provided by a CA$10 million Regional Gender-Responsive Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems in the Caribbean project, at the United Nations House in Barbados on June 3, 2024.

(from left): ThuTrang Nguyen, International Assistance Programme Officer, Global Affairs Canada; Abebech Assefa, Head of Cooperation for the Eastern Caribbean, Global Affairs Canada; Dr. Renata Clarke, FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for the Caribbean; Vermaran Extavour, Value Chain Expert and Project Coordinator, FAO’s Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean; and Roberto Sandoval, Disaster Risk Management Specialist, FAO’s Sub-regional Office for the Caribbean at the project launch at UN House in Barbados

The four-year project, funded by Canada, will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Belize, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

The project details were highlighted in a press release by the FAO on June 7, 2024.

Key partners for the project include Canada, the FAO, local governments, and civil society organisations.

The project aims to reach up to 2,500 direct beneficiaries over a four-and-a-half-year period. Women constitute 50 per cent of the beneficiaries and 20 per cent are youths.

It will also engage more than 30 farmers’ organisations, including those led by women and youth.

Additionally, the project will foster the development of inclusive, gender-responsive, and climate-resilient value chains by promoting the adoption of climate-smart innovations, technologies, and practices among agricultural stakeholders, enabling more data-driven decision-making.

During the launch, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Lilian Chatterjee noted that Canada recognises the challenges posed by supply chain disruptions, rising food and input prices, and climate change, which have worsened food insecurity in the Caribbean.

Over the years, Guyana has continued to make crucial investments towards executing numerous sustainable projects to diversify its agriculture sector and advance the region’s food security efforts.

These projects include the adoption of advanced technologies and data-driven farm operations, production of corn and soya, high-value crops, hydroponics projects, black belly sheep project, and honey production, among others.

With the production of corn and soya in particular, Guyana is slated to become self-sufficient in producing all of its livestock feed by the end of 2025 and reducing its dependency on imports.

CARICOM’s Chairman, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali recently highlighted that Guyana will be able to save over US$150 million in imports for various crops by the end of next year.