Guyana/Barbados food terminal closer to realisation – Pres. Ali

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President Dr Irfaan Ali

The sod turning ceremony for the new Guyana/Barbados food terminal in Barbados will soon take place, President, Dr Irfaan Ali has announced.

President Ali said the leadership of both countries have already expressed “our unwavering commitment to the removal of every barrier that will prevent trade between the two countries.”

Guyana and Barbados are working to create a joint tourism product, linking the two countries as a common market and package.

“Similar discussions are ongoing with Antigua, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the rest of the region so that we prepare, not only the production and productive level of the farms and farmers in Guyana, but we also work on the low hanging fruit of the resale market,” the President stated.

According to Barbados’ Government Information Service, the seven acres of land earmarked for the construction of the food terminal at Lears, St. Michael, will have a purpose-built facility to accommodate about 40 containers at any time; a reservoir holding 20 million gallons of water, and land for crop production.

Heads of Government in CARICOM have all agreed that steps need to be taken to reduce the region’s food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025. President Ali said the target is one without a political or social agenda, but can only be done if governments, the farmers and the private sector all work together and embrace the vision.

Already, in Guyana, the government has embarked on a number of initiatives including the launching of the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme -a flagship initiative that will see the establishment of 100 shade houses for the cultivation of three high value crops.

Additionally, government recently launched a black belly sheep project in Region Five that will see 1,000 sheep arriving in Guyana shortly from Barbados to kickstart the project. Close to 80 farmers have since expressed their interest in the project with many more set to step on board, as Guyana seeks to tap into the US$48 million mutton market in CARICOM.