By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[wwwinewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Agriculture today (July, 12) launched its national strategy for Agriculture dubbed ‘vision 2020’ in an effort to transform and propel the sector.
The Ministry has outlined its priority areas for success which includes developing new marketing approach, outside of sugar and rice, expanding marketing and competitive opportunities at the local and international level and developing a human resources strategy to secure an agriculture workforce.
Eradicating the stigma attached to the Agriculture sector is one of the main focuses of this strategy, since many believe a profession in the sector is a last resort for illiterate persons, however, Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy stressed that this is far from the truth. He emphasized that the wealth in this sector is being underestimated since it can improve the standard of living for many in the country.
The F-5 strategy takes a holistic approach and embraces all facets of agriculture, from food to non food aspects of agriculture. Further, Dr. Ramsammy stressed that the strategy 2013-2020 is based on the F-5 strategic approach in the plan for the sector that focuses on food security, fiber and nutritious food accessibility by citizens, fuel production, fashion and health products and furniture and crafts.
Hopes are high that this strategic plan can showcase the true potential of the sector and attract more investors as it will take a radical departure from the past stigma and embrace agriculture of the future.
Ramsammy said a number of projects will receive further investments which will see an expansion of the Abary Conservancy and the establishment of the Mahacia/Mahaicony conservancy.
Protecting Guyana’s exported products from being used to smuggle illicit drugs has not escaped the strategy and this will entail internal training to sensitize exports on how they can avoid this from happening.
Meanwhile, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, George Jarvis highlighted the region’s massive food import bill that is in excess of $200 million, noting that the strategy will help to reduce Guyana’s import bill significantly.