Letter: The neglect of agriculture in Guyana under the APNU/AFC

A shade house at the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Mon Repos

Dear Editor,

The agriculture industry in Guyana has seen a significant decline under the governance of the APNU/AFC government, from 2015 to 2020. Various sectors within agriculture, including the fishing industry, sugar industry, rice industry, and exports, have all suffered during that time.

The fishing industry, once a thriving sector in Guyana, has seen a sharp decline in recent years. Poor management and lack of investment have led to a decrease in fish production and a loss of income for fishermen.

The APNU/AFC Government failed to support the fishing industry, leading to a decrease in employment opportunities and a negative impact on the economy. As a result of their lacklustre approach to such an important sector, the PPP/C Government has been on a “clean-up campaign”, to get the industry back on track, an approach which has been successful thus far.

The sugar industry, which was once the backbone of Guyana’s economy, has also experienced a decline under the APNU/AFC Government. The closure of several sugar estates and the privatization of the industry have resulted in job losses and a decrease in sugar production. This has had a ripple effect on the economy, impacting farmers, workers, and the overall agricultural sector. You cannot blindly say that agriculture performed well under their stewardship but they suddenly have all the ideas on what they will do for the people of Guyana. We all can see through the incompetence.

The rice industry, another key sector in Guyana, has faced challenges under the APNU/AFC Government. Poor market conditions, lack of Government support, and increased production costs have led to a decrease in rice production and exports.

This has hurt farmers and the economy as a whole, and people have struggled to make ends meet.

Exports of agricultural products also declined. Poor diplomatic relations with key trading partners, lack of investment in infrastructure, and inadequate support for farmers have all contributed to a decrease in exports.

This has had a detrimental effect on the economy, and nearly four years later, PPP/C is still trying to clean up their mess.

Overall, the decline in agriculture under the APNU/AFC Government has had a cascading impact on the economy and livelihoods of farmers and workers in Guyana. The Government continues to take swift and decisive action to support and revitalize the agriculture sector, in order to ensure its sustainability and growth in the future.

Edson Harris,
A former APNU sympathizer