President Ali receives award for leadership in Food Security & Sustainable Development


The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has announced that the President of Guyana, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, will be the first recipient of the IICA Award for his contribution to Food Security and Sustainable Development.

“IICA decided to present this award in recognition of President Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s leadership in agricultural transformation, food security and support for building resilient economies in a sustainable manner in Guyana and the Caribbean,” a press release from the agency noted.

It added, “The President’s support and commitment to public agendas related to issues such as regional integration, rural connectivity, social inclusion in the countryside and gender equality, all of which are central areas of IICA’s work, were also considered for the presentation of this Award.”

According to the release, since being elected President of Guyana, President Ali has exercised his leadership as Head of Government in the CARICOM Quasi-Cabinet, responsible for agriculture and rural development, with a mandate to advance the regional food security agenda.

“President Ali has launched numerous initiatives focused on ensuring that sustainable agriculture remains a fundamental pillar for national and regional development.

“In Guyana, the most prominent initiatives include the Agriculture Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (AEIP) targeting youth to become agribusiness owners; agricultural processing and value addition; the revival and expansion of the aquaculture industry; the advancement of the livestock industry and the program for self-sufficiency in livestock feed with the production of corn and soybeans; updating legislation to increase investment and trade; large infrastructure projects for roads, drainage and irrigation.”

According to the release, Guyana’s leadership in low carbon development has been strengthened under Dr. Ali’s leadership, with the South American and Caribbean nations being the first to be awarded TREES credits. This innovative system of carbon credits is designed specifically for voluntary and compliant carbon markets to successfully prevent forest loss and degradation, a process known as jurisdictional REDD+.

“At the regional level, President Ali’s vision is reflected in actions to transform agriculture and sustainable development. Calling for deliberate action to bring to life the regional goal of reducing the Caribbean’s US$6 billion food import bill by 25% by 2025, these measures have been adopted by CARICOM leaders.

“In addition, President Ali has successfully advocated for the creation of the CARICOM Ad Hoc Ministerial Task Force (MTF) on Food Production and Food Security for CARICOM.”

The Guyana-Barbados Food Terminal Regional Food Hub is also being developed along with various initiatives to address logistics and transportation.

President Ali is expected to travel to IICA Headquarters for the Americas in San José, Costa Rica, as a Guest of Honor and to inaugurate the Forty-third Regular Meeting of the Executive Committee of IICA on July 19, 2023.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is the specialized agency for agriculture of the Inter-American System that supports the efforts of Member States to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being.

The Institute provides cooperation services through close and permanent work with its 34 Member States, addressing their needs in a timely manner. Without a doubt, IICA’s most valuable asset is the close relationship it maintains with the beneficiaries of its work. We have broad experience in areas such as technology and innovation for agriculture, agricultural health, food safety and quality, international agricultural trade, family farming, rural development, natural resource management and the bioeconomy.

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