PPP/C going above and beyond manifesto promises – Pres Ali
…tells Reg 5 it will become livestock capital of Caribbean
While the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is well on the way to achieving its manifesto promises made three years ago, the party is intent even now on exceeding its manifesto.
This is according to President Dr Irfaan Ali at a public meeting at Dundee, Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), on Monday evening. During his address, the President made it clear that they will not stop at what they promised in their manifesto. The party’s policies in Government, he said, are largely influenced by the needs of the people.
“We are doing additional things to what we put in the manifesto. And why are we doing this? Because we are a listening Government. Since coming to office, we have continuously engaged the communities. We’re listening to your concerns, your priorities, what’s bothering you. We’re analysing that and then we are making decisions in your interest and based on your priorities. A Government and a political system that is responsive to your needs.”
“Not so long ago, our rice farmers, many of whom reside in this region, were told that rice is a private business. In this very region, agriculture came to a standstill because they did not invest in agriculture. They made it difficult for agriculture,” the President further informed the crowd.
According to Ali, the former A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government destroyed the foundation that the PPP/C had laid for the agriculture sector. This has forced the current Government to rebuild the sector after returning to office. However, he assured that the Government has big plans for the region when it comes to livestock farming and agriculture in general.
“We have announced a plan for 2030 and beyond. And in that plan, we want to position Guyana as a leader in energy and food security and as a leader in climate security… the Hope Estate that went dead, we’ve invested in the Hope Estate. Restructuring it.”
“We are working on a new programme to see Region Five becoming the livestock capital of the Caribbean. We’re investing in new breeds, new varieties. The black belly sheep project. We’re bringing young people, opening up new lands, we’re creating new areas of development in this region.”
According to the President, his Government sees the region as an important cornerstone to not only advancing the food security agenda locally but also in the Regional market. He made it clear that the investments they are making in Region Five will transform it into the livestock capital of the Region.
“We see this region as an important cornerstone to securing our own livestock needs. And then advancing in the Regional market. And we’re building infrastructure. We’re investing in what is required, to ensure that this region becomes the livestock capital of the Region.”
“That is what we’re doing. Not only thinking about how we can make the region competitive in Guyana but how we can position the region to be a leader in the Caricom market. How we can position the region to leverage its competitive advantage to be a leader in the regional market? That is a Government that is looking at the long-term economy of the region.”
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), through the Agriculture Ministry, recently awarded a contract totalling $257,166,500 to EPCOT Enterprise Inc for the rehabilitation of the all-weather road at Blairmont, West Bank Berbice, for the black belly sheep project which is currently being rolled out across the country.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha also recently revealed that just under 500 black belly sheep are expected to arrive by the end of this month, as they are currently being quarantined before being shipped.
In August last year, Guyana received the first shipment of 132 sheep – 20 rams and 112 ewes. The programme was launched with an estimated $600 million investment from the Government.
President Ali, during the launch of the project at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice, in March 2022, had said the project is intended to pave the way for Guyana to tap into the Region’s hefty food importation bill.
The food importation bill sees Caricom countries collectively spending some US$43 million on the import of mutton alone. And even though Guyana’s food production capabilities are impressive, the country still imports approximately US$130,000 worth of mutton.