Embracing modern techniques crucial in achieving food security – Canadian rep. tells agri symposium

Head of Development Cooperation at the High Commission of Canada to Guyana Adam Loyer (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/ October 17, 2023)

“In a world where technology and sustainable practices are constantly evolving, embracing innovation is essential for modern, resilient agricultural production by adopting cutting edge techniques from precision agriculture to climate resistant crop varieties; farmers and other market actors can overcome challenges and seize new opportunities,” Loyer said.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha also agreed that these engagements are crucial for the growth and development of the sector.

“As we advance the agriculture sector to an expanded diversified and modernised, resilient and competitive sector, it is important that we pool our resources to create consortium to take advantage of these opportunities in the agriculture sector and agro-processing industry of Guyana,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/ October 17, 2023)

Meanwhile, in listing ways that farmers can get financing, the Business Development Manager at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), Rowattie Mohandeo, spoke about the government’s poultry programme.

“GBTI is pleased to be part of that programme, it’s very interesting where the interest rate is as low as 3.5 per cent, currently we are building out that programme.

“Financing up to $500,000 is 3.5 per cent, over $500,000 is five per cent; we are going to continue these initiatives to understand the needs of the farmers.  I am hoping for the vegetable and cash crop we can have a similar deal that we are able to meet you at your level,” Mohandeo said.

Notably, she said that financing for aquaculture, rice farming and agro-processing is also available. These loans are for building out infrastructure, purchase seeds and fertilizer and other inputs.

Photo caption : Attendees at the National Agriculture Symposium (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture/ October 17, 2023)

Additionally, the Small Business Bureau (SBB) also has a special loan programme that provides farmers with 40 per cent of the collateral guarantee. This means that the SBB covers part of the collateral while the client covers the remaining 60 per cent to ensure that the loan is approved.