Guyana will take agriculture to new heights – Mustapha

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Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha says the sector will reach new heights under the PPP/C Administration and he is encouraging all stakeholders to play their part to ensure the positive transformation of the industry.

He made the remarks following the signing of over $340M in contracts as the Ministry advances the execution if its 2021 work programme.

“So I think we in the Ministry of Agriculture, we in this Government, we will move agriculture to new heights but it depends on all to be onboard, so I want to implore on you here this afternoon, let us work together,” Minister Mustapha said.

In a special appeal to contractors who are executing projects that will impact the agricultural sector, the Minister urged them to do top quality work.

“Whilst you are interested in your business growth and development and profit, at the same time…you have the obligation also to deliver quality projects, deliver these projects on time and at the end of it, everyone must be beneficiary from these projects.”

The Agriculture Minister expressed that many persons are now understanding the importance of farming to the economy.

“Many persons would’ve express interest in the oil and gas sector, we are now seeing a number of persons coming forward trying to get back into agriculture, people who would’ve called it a day, now are coming back and saying they want to get back land, they want to back into agriculture activity,” Mustapha detailed.

“This came about because of the allocation, the budgetary allocation and the way we have been doing work in the agriculture sector. I think we were responsible as government to get back or whip up back the interest of people in the agriculture sector. Today our country is playing its leading role in the agriculture sector, our President is once again the chief spokesperson for agriculture in CARICOM,” he noted.

Only yesterday, President Dr Irfaan Ali reminded of how food security declined between 2015 and 2020 under the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government.

He made the remarks during a ceremony at the Hinterland Student Dormitory at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, to hand over 30 tractors and trailers totalling some $446 million to Toshaos of Amerindian villages across the country.

The President assured the village leaders that his Government will work closely with farmers to restore the viability of their farmlands. According to him, a plan is underway that will help farmers recover, while building a more resilient agriculture sector.

The sum of $22.6 billion has been earmarked in Budget 2021 to boost agriculture in Guyana. Government will be investing heavily to develop farm-to-market roads, improve drainage and irrigation and build human resource capacity to deliver the services required to drive growth in the sector, among other initiatives.