As timelines grow closer, ‘serious action is needed to achieve SDGs’- Mustapha tells UN forum


The 2030 timeline for the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved is getting closer; as such, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha has said there is a need for accelerated actions to be taken.

During remarks at an event on Wednesday for the 2023 UN Food Systems Summit on Stocktaking in Rome, Italy, Minister Mustapha said the Caribbean Region continues to be among the most affected by food insecurity which has significantly increased over the years. He noted that Guyana is committed to attaining these goals but the timeline is drawing closer to providing nutritious foods to people by 2030.

“Serious action is needed now more than ever as our efforts to achieve the SDGs have been confronted with numerous crises on several fronts, financial shocks, the Russia-Ukraine war, climate emergency and energy access, rising poverty, food insecurity, and inequality.

“With only seven years remaining until 2030, Guyana recognises the speed and diverse manner in which we must address agricultural transformation,” Minister Mustapha said.

President Dr Irfaan Ali (centre) inspecting the soya bean and corn pilot projects in Ebini, Upper Berbice River (Office of the President photo)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines a transformative vision for economic, social and environmental development. The government has continuously reaffirmed its commitment to advancing the implementation of the Agenda, aimed at achieving the SDGs, despite the challenging global economic context.

Minister Mustapha said the ongoing engagement is a key part of the building block for lasting momentum in support of food systems transformation, zero hunger, and sustainable development.

Importantly, he said partnerships with UN agencies are crucial in addressing the pressing issues of capital, capacity, data, and developmental opportunities.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha at the UN Food Systems Summit 2023 (Photo Ministry of Agriculture (July 25, 2023)

He also explained that Guyana has made several efforts to mitigate the challenges have started with increased budgetary allocations for agriculture, investment in enhancing farm-to-market roads, drainage and irrigation, laboratory and necessary quality infrastructure to assist farmers, among others.

He also noted that in achieving global targets, it is necessary to involve the integration of the health, and education sectors, the use of technology, and ensure actions that limit the impacts of climate change.

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