Guyana: President Irfaan Ali and several of the visiting Caribbean Heads of Government made a site visit to the shade houses constructed at NAREI, on the East Coast of Demerara.
President Ali told the delegation that it is his hope that the programme would be replicated across the Region.
He explained that the project is spearheaded by youths from the Guyana School of Agriculture and the University of Guyana under the agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme. Sixty per cent of the youths are females.Students from Barbados are also involved in the initiative.
The visiting heads all congratulated the students on the project. The Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr Keith Rowley expressed the hope that Guyana and Trinidad can collaborate on a similar programme while the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne said that the site visit was the highlight of his trip to Guyana.
High-value crops including cauliflower, broccoli and carrots are under cultivation at the shade houses.
Dr Irfaan Ali and the visiting Caribbean Heads of Government participated in several sessions of the development partners’ roundtable discussions which started on Thursday and continued today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
This morning’s session centred on a country-specific investment platform and included presentations from several international and regional agriculture companies.
Later, Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo will deliver a keynote address on important binding constraints to agricultural growth.
After that, the plenary discussions will continue and focus on agro-processing and marketing; primary production and logistics and transportation.
Thursday’s panels focused on financing agriculture and fostering food security and “making agriculture fit for purpose”.
Dr Irfaan Ali, in honour of the inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo, hosted a welcome reception at Castellani House on Thursday evening.
The event was attended by Heads of Government and senior Government representatives from Belize, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, the Bahamas and Montserrat and Members of President Ali’s Cabinet, including Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), the Honourable Mark Phillips; Government Functionaries, Member of Parliament Khemraj Ramjattan, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Lenox Shuman and other officials.
The three-day Agri-Investment Forum and Expo started yesterday and is expected to conclude tomorrow.