Though much progress has been made in achieving ambitious regional food production goals, government officials and private sector stakeholders agree that much more investments are needed to achieve food security targets by 2025.
And the upcoming Agri-investment forum and expo, set for October 20 to 22, is expected to bring regional and international stakeholders together to address existing investment shortfalls and other challenges.
“It is critical at this point in time that the private sector take the initiative to work on a more aggressive regional logistics approach where we can move our products and services easily around the region,” Chairman of Guyana’s Private Sector Commission Komal Singh said on Friday.
If this is not done, he shared fears that the greater volumes of food produced in countries like Guyana will be left unsold and unused. For him, that would be counterproductive.
Guyana has been leading the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) ambitious goal of slashing the massive regional US$6 billion import bill by 25% by 2025.
On Friday, at the launch of the upcoming forum and export, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha acknowledged that substantial gains have been made. These include new partnerships among Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and many other CARICOM countries.
Still, he said investments worth about $7.5 billion are needed to achieve the 25 by 2025 agenda.
So he believes the upcoming investment forum will foster much-needed partnerships and attract investments into Guyana’s and the Caribbean’s agricultural sector, as was the case last year.