GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Over the last few years, Guyana has been working to transform its food security efforts, while increasing interventions to provide farmers with more access to local and regional markets for their agricultural produce.
This was underscored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD) country director, Maija Peltola in Karrau, Region Seven during a community outreach.
Guyana’s numerous efforts to develop its economy sustainably have garnered recognition and appreciation on a worldwide scale due to its proactive approach.
“So, I know there are very big efforts to increase, substantially, food exports. […] The government is, first, looking at its people and improving food security in the country. And then, looking to exporting that produce,” Peltola pointed out.
The government is advancing important projects to support higher agricultural output, productivity, and diversity, while improving the livelihoods of its people.
Although logistics has been a bit tricky in Guyana, Peltola added, “the government has been constructing roads, bridges and basic infrastructure to get the Guyanese produce, first, to the local market and then also to the broader Caribbean market.”
“There is also the ministry of agriculture who is the national premier of the food system transformation. So, the pathway, which the UN [United Nations] and IFAD is supporting, is very important. As such, I see every time that I come to Guyana where I visited the communities in different regions, I see that there is something going on and people are producing more. Also, they are more aware of the value of the Guyanese produce of the farming products,” she noted.
Importantly, Peltola further highlighted the linkage between the local agriculture produce to the national school feeding programme.
“Within this school feeding programmes, IFAD together with FAO…and the sister organisations in the united systems, we are working together with the government to link the local produce of the farmers to the school feeding programme. So that Guyanese school children can eat local and very nutritious food,” she added.
Peltola and other IFAD representatives met with minister of agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, last Wednesday.
The discussion was centred on how government and IFAD can partner to improve agricultural development in the hinterland regions.
IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialised agency of the UN that seeks to combat hunger and poverty in rural areas of developing nations.