Sound chemicals management in Guyana
Sound chemicals management in Guyana certainly goes a far way in promoting and supporting the nation’s transition to having a green economy to combat the global challenges such as climate change, global warming and more importantly food and nutrition security. It will, in fact, aid in creating a better Guyana for all.
With this in mind, it is important to note that the goal of the nation’s Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board is the regulation of chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from the associated risks of these substances. Governmental support has also been demonstrated for the important function of this board as the sum of $92,869,000 was included in the latest budget.
The investment in expanding Guyana’s technical and institutional capacity for chemicals management specifically targets the pesticides laboratory. This is aimed at expanding its capabilities and seeking ISO certification and accreditation for a fully function and internationally recognised pesticides laboratory.
The activities of the PTCCB will be an integral part of the Ministry of Agriculture in achieving sustainable intensification of our agriculture systems through a holistic and comprehensive management of pesticides and toxic chemicals in Guyana.
With this in mind, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder said that the following Major Projects in the Agricultural Sector are scheduled for implementation.
- Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development
This project is currently in its design phase and has an estimated cost of $200M. The positive impacts will extend to farmers, as they will have greater access to planting material and improved breeds of livestock in Regions Four and Five (Buxton, Ithaca, specializedTriumph and Mocha) within a three year period.
- Access Dams/Roads Improvement
This project is estimated at $535M. It includes the upgrading of Parika (2km), Ruby (1.8km) and Laluni (13.35km) All Weather Roads to asphaltic concrete. The positive impacts include more accessibility for farmers, better prices for farmers, more acreage under cultivation, and high valued crops being produced.
- Flood Risk Management Project
The estimated cost of this project is $500 M. The benefits of this project includes: reduce flooding and improved drainage and irrigation for over 300,000 residents on the East Coast of Demerara. Also, it will assist in monitoring water levels and rainfall data within the EDWC through improved Hydromet instruments and provide the Government of Guyanaspecialised staff to monitor the water behaviour in the EDWC through specialised technical training for MOA personnel.
Furthermore, to achieve the aforementioned, a Planning Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture that will be High-performing, Efficient, and Adaptable will be established. This will allow for improved delivery of the numerous programmes and services which we provide to the public.
The focus will be on modernising management and technical support. The establishment of a planning unit will institute one overarching coordinating mechanism for agriculture policy. Technical staff will work closely with the semi-autonomous agencies to jointly accomplish the National Agriculture Strategy 2020.
With the dynamic nature of agriculture, factors of production, the supply chain and trade issues, a review of the current make-up of the Ministry of Agriculture indicates that we need to ensure that roles and responsibilities are clear and relevant.
In this unit, Government will leverage the best to ensure that the public interacts with the Ministry in an efficient environment. This will also ensure more effective management of resources by eliminating duplication or unnecessary expenses.
With the implementation of these initiatives the current administration would be pursuing over the next five years, there is no doubt that the agricultural sector would continue to propel the Guyana economy to ensure that all stakeholders enjoy a good life.
Additionally, the youth unemployment rate across the Caribbean averages 25 percent while here in Guyana this rate has been hovering close to 40 percent. It is clear that the agriculture sector has potential to aid in tackling this problem. Furthermore, for the industry to attain sustainability, it must address the aging farming population by promoting greater involvement of our youths in agriculture.
The Ministry of Agriculture has and will continue to have, clear and succinct foci on attracting young people into agriculture, through the Guyana School of Agriculture