Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana (UG), Professor Ivelaw Griffith has urged that Guyanese not lose sight of the important role agriculture continues to play, even as the oil and gas sector comes to the fore.
According to a DPI release, he made the comment recently while indicating the university’s plan to inaugurate a pilot Institute of Food and Nutrition and Security.
The University of Guyana has organised a feasibility team to seek out the possibility of establishing the institute and has already received a US$50,000 grant from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to aid the initiative.
The team includes a Guyanese Chemist and Vincentian Biochemist. According to Professor Griffith, the University is hoping to be able to inaugurate the Institute on World Food day, in October of this year.
The Vice-Chancellor said the University is continuing its investment in the Agriculture sector since it sees it as relevant and will continue to be even after oil is gone. “We have to be true to ourselves and remember that we are at heart an agricultural nation and so we cannot let the excitement about oil deflect us from the attention to Agriculture.”
While the university is also preparing to meet the oil and gas sector, the professor said, it is paying equal attention to agriculture.
“We need to do better at agriculture and forestry and while oil is important, agriculture is just as important. Not just for Guyana, but for the capabilities that we have for the Caribbean and some parts of South America…We are looking to not only lift our boats on oil and gas but on agriculture as well,” the Vice-Chancellor said.