Guyana to meet local demand for livestock feed by 2023 – President Ali

…as trade agreement is inked with Suriname

Guyana is looking to meet the feed demand of the local livestock industry, and with trials ongoing for soya and corn crops, President Dr Irfaan Ali is optimistic that production would come on stream by 2023.

Agriculture Ministers Zulfikar Mustapha and Parmanand Sewdien signing the MoU to boost agricultural trade between Guyana and Suriname, as well as to find foreign markets for their produce

He made this announcement on Thursday during a joint press conference with his Surinamese counterpart, President Chandrikapersad Santokhi, along with his high-level delegation.
Among the topics on the agenda was the agriculture sector, and one of the two agreements signed by the neighbouring countries was to foster the trade of fresh agricultural produce.
During remarks at the media briefing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), President Ali noted that extensive discussions were held, and the two countries have agreed on a strategy that would see them supporting each other in entering the North American, European, and regional markets.
He added that they would specifically examine the possibilities in the poultry sector, so as to harness the potential in satisfying requirements of the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
The Guyanese Head of State further noted that they are going a step further to ensure benefits for local poultry producers.
“Right now, in Guyana, we are working towards ensuring all the soya and corn requirements for the poultry industry – the feed for the livestock industry – is produced locally by 2023,” the President told reporters on Thursday.
He indicated that conversations were already held on this with stakeholders from Guyana’s livestock industry. According to President Ali, they are now moving to collaborate with Surinamese representatives to further propel the livestock sector in both countries.
“What we want to do is to bring the [livestock] sector together from both Guyana and Suriname. And it’s interesting… because poultry is actually the example we use as to how we can bring the industry from both sides together…the two markets, [and] the aim is to get coverage for the Caricom market and to look at the backward and forward integration,” Ali posited.
Against this backdrop, the President reassured that the poultry producers in Guyana are integrally, and will be intimately, involved in the development of this sector. This, he noted, includes dealing with the challenges of the livestock industry as well.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that a consortium of six local companies joined forces to undertake a project that could potentially see Guyana, in the coming years, becoming self-sufficient in producing feed for the livestock industry from corn and soya bean.
Already, a trial crop has been planted at the Dubulay Ranch, which is located approximately 70 miles south of Georgetown along the Berbice River, where the 115 acres of soya bean and five acres of corn are showing positive results ahead of being reaped in September month end.

Trade agreement
Meanwhile, during discussions over the past three days, both Presidents Ali and Santokhi emphasised that the agricultural sector offers similar strong opportunities for enhanced growth and development through increased cooperation and coordination in terms of production and market access to Europe and North America.
According to a joint communique from the two sides, Guyana and Suriname will be utilising their respective experiences and strengths to capture those two large markets.
On this note, the two countries signed an agreement aimed at boosting agricultural trade.
Guyana’s Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and his Surinamese counterpart Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Minister Parmanand Sewdien inked the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday.
This agreement seeks to improve trade between the two nations for fresh and organic agricultural produce. It deals with areas of production, certification, processing, packaging and transporting of these goods. Additionally, the agreement underscores a commitment between the two South American countries to collaborate on accessing the North America and European markets for their agricultural produce.
In fact, during the press conference, President Santokhi disclosed that agriculture stakeholders in Suriname are already benefiting from this pact. He explained that rice exporters in his country have been grappling with getting their produce into European markets because of the type of paddy seeds they are using.
“Those business group of people involved in the rice export, they express their concern that the rice seed was not meeting the international quality standards, and they were lacking other seeds in Suriname,” he noted.
However, the Surinamese Head of State pointed out that this issue was discussed with President Ali, and they have already come up with a solution that would see Guyana sharing its paddy seeds with its neighbour.
“This business group of people can go back to Suriname now with rice seeds of better quality from Guyana to Suriname. With that seed, we can have an expansion…for all the other rice farmers. So here’s an example of what kinds of arrangements we can make now that we have an agreement for a structural cooperation in the area of agriculture and more,” President Santokhi stated.