Guyana & Dominica to push food production cooperation


Caribbean countries are united in the Guyana-led thrust for increasing regional food production and as part of this thrust, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced that Guyana and Dominica will soon start collaborating on pushing the production of corn and some vegetables.

Skerrit, while speaking at a press briefing held at the agri-investment forum at the Arthur Chung Conference at Liliendaal, said Dominica is eyeing Guyana’s corn production.

Since last year, a group of local investors began cultivating corn and soya bean which would be used as poultry feed. If this project is successful, as initial results show, it could help Guyana cut a US$25 million bill used to import these products.

Items on display at the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo (Photo: Keno George/May 20, 2022)

The group of investors, which comprises the owners of Guyana Stock Feed Limited, Royal Chicken, Edun Farms, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and Bounty Farm Limited, along with the Brazilian-owned N F Agriculture have so far invested approximately $45 million into the pilot project.

Another area Dominica is interested in, Prime Minister Skerrit said, is Guyana’s recently launched youth agricultural initiative. Through this initiative, young people from across the country are cultivating high-end vegetables- broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

“…in the next few weeks, you will see actual action taken,” the Dominican Prime Minister assured reporters on Friday.

Items on display at the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo (Photo: Keno George/May 20, 2022)

He, however, emphasised that the focus of his visit to Guyana and his participation at the agri-investment forum was not necessarily to secure expansion opportunities for Dominica.

Instead, he emphasised that he is committed to supporting any effort that will allow the Caribbean region to cut its massive, annual US $5 billion import bill.

If that means supporting increased agro-production in any Caribbean Community (CARICOM) state, Skerrit explained that it will still allow resources to remain within the region. And if those resources remain in the Caribbean, he believes that Dominica will ultimately benefit.

Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley (left) and Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit during the press briefing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (Photo: Keno George/May 20, 2022)

Guyana is leading the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) charge of cutting the massive annual US $5 billion food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025. The main thrust underpinning this charge is an expansion of regional food production.

Though the Dominican Prime Minister was confident that the leaders of other CARICOM countries are committed to these Guyana-led efforts, he also called for citizens across the region to consume the food produced in the region.

“I believe that every one of the countries in CARICOM would benefit from this,” he underscored.

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