Govt remains committed to strengthening process to transform agri-food system through innovation, investment – PM Phillips


– as 3rd Agri-Investment Forum and Expo launch

To advance investment and innovative measures to attain CARICOM’s Vision 25 by 2025 target to reduce the region’s hefty food import bill, the third Agri-Investment Forum and Expo was launched on Friday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

The forum and expo, themed ‘Accelerating investment in Vision 25 by 2025,’ is slated to be hosted from October 20-22.

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips

Delivering the feature address, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips underscored that increased bilateral cooperation between countries, increased public-private partnerships, and an enabling environment for large-scale investments are all imperative for Vision 25 by 2025 to be attained.

Given all of these changes, Guyana anticipates that the private sector in the Caribbean, the international donor community, and multilateral development organisations would cooperate to create appropriate and sustainable regional transportation for the movement of food throughout the region.

The prime minister stressed the importance of working collaboratively to balance international trade and domestic self-sufficiency for the well-being of the people and the region at large.

PM Phillips also alluded to several transformational projects being undertaken by the government to contribute to achieving the region’s 25 by 2025 objective.

A section of the launching of the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo

“Transforming the agri-food system of the region will take the effort of each and every stakeholder in our region. This goal is not merely a financial consideration. By nurturing our regional agriculture sector, we empower our economies, strengthen our food security, promote sustainable practices, and preserve our cultural heritage.”

PM Phillips also commended the region’s Ministerial Task Force and all stakeholders on food production and food security for accelerating its aggressive agenda towards ensuring the efficiency, effectiveness and implementation of the region’s strategy aimed at advancing CARICOM’s agri-food system.

“The actions of these regional leaders have sent a very clear message, that as a region, we must work together to move forward in every aspect of the food production system.”

Moreover, as regional leaders move forward with the food security agenda, the prime minister said the agri-investment forum and expo seeks to attract the investments and strong actions required in crucial areas for agriculture and food production.

Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha highlighted that the forum and expo will provide a platform to deliberate, discuss, strategise and measure the outcome of the region’s progress since the establishment of the Ministerial Taskforce to drive food production while reducing the food importation bill in the Caribbean.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

“We will discuss vital topics to ensure our actions are not only impactful today but also sustainable for generations to come… It is the expectation that together we will explore innovative financing models, harness cutting-edge technologies and amplify impact of our collective efforts to propel us to a future filled with possibilities,” Minister Mustapha noted.

Chairman of the Private Sector Commission, Komal Singh stated that the forum and expo offer excellent opportunities to farmers, food processing facilities and other service providers to showcase their products and services.

“The private sector has a significant opportunity here to offer meaningful contribution by forming consortiums and partnerships that will assist in developing major mega farms and agro-processing facilities, which will allow us to develop a robust agriculture sector in the region,” he said.

Additionally, the logistics aspect also provides a great opportunity for shipping and transferring goods and services.

Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai; Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar; Foreign Secretary, Robert Persaud; Programme Manager of CARICOM, Shaun Baugh; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd; Chinese Ambassador to Guyana, Guo Haiyan; Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Guyana Invest, Dr Peter Ramsaroop; members of the diplomatic corps, and others were also present at the launch. [Story from DPI and Photos from Ministry of Agriculture Facebook]