Guyana and the State of Roraima, a northern Brazilian state, have been working together to push food production and trade meant to benefit both countries but with Guyana seeking to intensify this long standing partnership, the country’s Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo says buy-in from Brazil’s Federal Government is necessary.
The State of Roraima is near Guyana’s Region Nine (Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo). The Takutu Bridge that links the two countries has facilitated much trade over the years.
Now, however, Guyana wants to increase food production to help cut down the Caribbean’s massive food import bill. That means there is a great opportunity to leverage the agricultural prowess of the Brazilian state and capitalise on the proximity of the two countries.
“The State of Roraima see their future heavily linked to us given proximity both for imports and exports from the northern State of Roraima
“…So we’re hoping at the federal level that they move forward with this agreement that we’ve been pursuing for a long time… that would help our agriculture tremendously,” the Vice President said.
And he pointed out that Guyana is doing the necessary groundwork to support closer ties with Brazil. That includes getting a well-paved roadway from Soesdyke/Linden Highway to Lethem. Already, contracts have been signed for the upgrading to the Linden to Mabura Hill leg of the roadway, and for the construction of 45 bridges between Linden and Lethem
If settled, Jagdeo said this agreement could see Brazil supporting Guyana’s new corn and soya bean venture. It could also see limestone and fertiliser being exported to the State.
Increasing food production and trade with northern Brazil has been one of the solutions long-touted by President Dr. Irfaan Ali in his role as lead Head of State in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) quasi-cabinet.
Already, Guyana and Brazil committed to advancing food production and removing trade barriers so that more food can be exported within the Caribbean region. These commitments were made when Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro visited Guyana in May 2022.
Jagdeo is optimistic that these talks will continue with the current Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. He also highlighted that President da Silva should be visiting Guyana soon.