[www.inewsguyana.com] – The opening of Guyana’s first laboratory to deal with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases will boost the local economy, as well as enhance local food security, according to President Donald Ramotar.
The lab was commissioned yesterday [Thursday, August 14] at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority’s (GLDA) at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara.
The state- of -the -art facility, which costs an estimated $$326 million, is fully equipped with world class equipment and testing apparatuses. Addressing top agricultural specialists, farmers, diplomats and Agriculture Ministry staffers, the President said that the construction of the laboratory is yet another indication of the sector’s advancement towards the achievement of local food security efforts.
A call was made by President Ramotar to have the image of the sector changed as science and technology have increasing roles in moving agriculture forward. He noted that with countries such as China developing with a much larger middle class, there would be a demand for more animal products.
“There is growing health consciousness and awareness and recognition of health, and we have a responsibility to our own people and to those people who will be exporting products, that our products are safe and they do not have any diseases,” the Head of State said.
The private sector was also urged, by the Head of State to take advantage of the new facility, and find ways to increase their own packaging capability and even abattoir facilities to take advantage of potential regional and international markets.
The facility was realised under the US $12.9 million, Agriculture Export Diversification Programme which encompassed several aspects such as agricultural diversification, enhancement of farm to access roads, livestock breeding programmes and several others. Explaining some of the facility’s benefits, Veterinary Officer, Dr. Dane Hartley, said that with a recent United Nations study suggesting that the current rate of food production will need to be increased by 70% by 2050 to cope with the demands of an increasing human population, the demand for meat and other animal products will increase, and the lab will ensure that Guyana is poised to take advantage of this fact.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]