Govt aims to build modern abattoirs to boost meat export

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

While highlighting the vast potential of Guyana’s agricultural sector, the Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, on Monday announced that the Ministry will be constructing a number of modern abattoirs across the country with the aim of boosting beef and pork production with the long-term aim of tapping into the international market.
Mustapha pointed out that Guyana has been getting the attention of international investors, and as such, it will have to update its systems to remain competitive.
He was at the time speaking during an event at the Guyana Livestock Development Authority at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD).
“We have already started construction at Rising Sun at West Coast Berbice, we are looking at another one in Region Three to do slaughtering of cows there so that we can have beef production there. We are looking at a swine abattoir on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), and these will be built at international standards where we will have them certified and try to get them ISO certification so that we can export these meats to other parts of the world,” Mustapha said. He noted that there are lucrative markets around the world, and Guyana should start tapping into them.
“Imagine, countries from the Middle East are importing beef from our neighbours in Brazil, we can tap into some of those markets. That is why we are concentrating and investing in these sectors, especially the livestock sector,” the Minister said, adding that there have been numerous calls for Guyana to have modernised abattoirs.
Georgetown’s Municipal Abattoir that is located on Water Street, Kingston, Georgetown, has been in a deteriorated state for several years.
The 88-year-old abattoir processes approximately 75 per cent of the meat sold in the local markets and has not been modernised since its construction. The then Government had announced plans to build state-of-the-art abattoirs at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice; Diamond, East Bank Demerara and one in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) but these never materialised.
As a matter of fact, the one at Onverwagt, WCB, was marred with suspicion after prime land was earmarked for the facility. Additionally, issues of environmental hazards along with the fact that it was being built in a rice cultivating area where chemicals are used was another issue of concern. (G9)