Guyana aims to match food security projects to Caribbean needs

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Guyana is looking to customise its approach to food security projects to better align with needs and priorities of the Caribbean.

On Wednesday, Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud met with a three-member team from the International Trade Center (ITC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The ITC team, visiting Guyana on a scoping mission, included Hernan Manson, Head of Inclusive Agribusiness Systems; Viwanou Gnassounou, Senior Advisor on Investment and Food Systems; and Benjamin Morrison, Associate Programme Officer (Alliance for Action).

Foreign Secretary Robert Persaud with the International Trade Center team.

Their mission is to evaluate the early stages of potential projects under a European Union-funded initiative titled “Strengthening Nutritious and Sustainable Value Chains in the Caribbean through Alliances.”

This initiative aims to support the EU’s international partnership priorities and the CARICOM 25×25 initiative, led by Guyana. The ITC, as one of the implementing partners, is assessing the needs of stakeholders in both the private and public sectors to determine suitable project activities.

During the meeting, the ITC team outlined their mission objectives and reviewed their previous work in Guyana, including projects on coconut production and cassava processing. While the initiative covers the entire CARICOM region, the ITC is focusing on understanding the specific needs of Guyanese companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises. The team plans to engage with local stakeholders through discussions and data analysis to identify priorities. They expect to select 10 to 15 companies that meet the criteria, including a commitment to contributing to regional food security and socio-economic development.

Foreign Secretary Persaud welcomed the initiative, emphasizing the importance of aligning national projects with regional perspectives to enhance coordination and avoid duplicating efforts. He stressed the need for the ITC to tailor their interventions to meet specific needs and priorities and suggested providing technical assistance to help local agencies overcome trade barriers.

Officials from the Ministry’s Trade Department, including Ambassador Neville Totaram and Paul Kalekyezi, joined Persaud in the meeting.

This initiative highlights Guyana’s efforts to address food security through targeted, regionally aligned projects, reflecting a strategic approach to addressing both local and regional challenges.

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