Despite dry season woes, Agri. Minister says Guyana producing as much as it planned to in 2023

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Guyana’s agricultural sector has been particularly hard-hit by the prevailing El Niño conditions which resulted in droughts.

Even so, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha has said Guyana is producing as much food as it planned to this year because of government interventions and resilience demonstrated by the country’s farmers.

“… I foresee at the end of the year, in a matter of days, we will reach our targets and that is very important for us because what we have done is that we have made a lot of modifications. (We) moved pumps, cleared canals, rehabilitated canals and did a lot of work in the agriculture sector.

“I am very optimistic that at the end of this year, probably when the Minister of Finance would read his budget speech, we’ll see that we’ll reach the targets in the agriculture sector,” Mustapha told reporters on the sidelines of a sitting of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha engaging reporters (Photo: News Room/ December 19, 2023)

Sugar targets, he said, are on track particularly with the operationalisation of the Rose Hall estate. Guyana’s aquaculture industry is also doing well, according to Mustapha.

Meanwhile, Guyana also ventured into the production of corn, soya and millets and the Agriculture Minister said the production of these crops should add to the country’s overall output.

A drought is generally a deficit in rainfall quantities. And those deficits usually start in small quantities and gradually get larger.

Last month, President Dr. Irfaan Ali said the price of fruits and vegetables on the market has increased substantially in some cases and that the hike in prices has been attributed to, in large part, the prolonged dry season.

Mustapha acknowledged this price hike, noting that it is an issue that troubled consumers this year. He, however, said the Agriculture Ministry has been working to support farmers and to organise farm-to-market ventures so consumers would benefit from cheaper prices.

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