Over $919M earned from exporting non-traditional crops – Agri. Minister

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Guyana’s agriculture sector earned more than $919M in the first half of 2024 from the exportation of non-traditional crops.

This equates to a 12.7 per cent increase when compared to last year.

“In the first half of 2024, Guyana has made significant strides in exporting non-traditional agricultural goods.

“We have seen a 12.7 percent increase compared to last year reaching over 4156 metric tonnes with a value exceeding $919M,” Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha said.

Mustapha made the disclosure Tuesday night during his address at the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) first annual awards and dinner ceremony.

The increase in agricultural exports follows the government’s investments in and promotion of climate resilient farming.

By increasing exports, Mustapha said not only is foreign currency being generated but also the country’s brand as a reliable supplier of high quality food product is being built.

“You the exporters are the bridge between our fields and the world. Through your dedication to quality, logistics and market research you are transforming Guyanese produces into global brands,” he said.

The long term goal, Mustapha explained, is to make Guyana the center of food production in the region.

“For too long we have relied on exporting raw material, leaving the value addition to other countries.

“You have to change that narrative,” Mustapha added.

According to Mustapha, by taking local produce and transforming it into high value products, jobs are created, livelihood are boosted and local food security is strengthened.

“Agro-processing empowers our women and it is a great opportunity for our youth.

“This industry currently employs approximately or just over 2000 persons in small and medium size categories,” Mustapha said.

Mustapha pledged that the Guyana Marketing Corporation will continue to enhance the capacity of agro-processors by providing training and large scale production as well as improving post-harvest management through the provision of storage facilities.

“As a country, for too long we have been exporting primary products…It’s time that we add value to Guyanese products,” Mustapha said.

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