– Agri. Minister
Biofuels can be considered a double-edged sword, if not handled properly. This was the assertion by Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud, during the launching of the office of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Guyana on Thursday last.
Minister Persaud noted that, in many countries, huge tracts of land and crops previously dedicated to the production of food for human consumption are now being diverted to the production of biofuels.
In Guyana’s case, no existing human and animal foods will be diverted into the feed stock for biofuels, nor will any land under food crops be converted for the production of biofuels.
“We have come up with a solution where we carefully balanced the equation to achieve a win-win situation.”
The world’s agriculture, Persaud said, is facing new challenges that pose risks to poor people’s livelihoods and food security.
This new situation calls for policy actions which include comprehensive social protection, trade policy reforms, and investment in agriculture.
Persaud also made an appeal to famers, processors, distributors and exporters to demonstrate greater pride in the way they conduct activities in the sector.
“Let us rededicate ourselves to ensure that our agricultural sector can be a world-class model and a larger contributor to national prosperity and opportunities.”
Addressing the issue of climate change, Persaud said that many small island states and developing nations such as Guyana grapple not only with unpredictable energy and input costs, and availability and the impacts of climate change, but a growing level of protectionism in the traditional markets.
This is exacerbated, he added, by an unbalanced and uncompetitive approach to agricultural subsidies within those marketplaces, a weak and disarrayed Caribbean response, and inability to deal with the changing landscape of traditional markets in Europe and elsewhere.
“We must be aware of all the many factors that can affect the attainment or maintenance of food security.”
The effects of climate change are pushing agriculture back on the development agenda in a big way, Persaud said.
Climate change affects virtually everyone in the world, developed nations and developing nations, rich and poor, he added.
“There are two groups of people most affected disproportionately and unfairly, according to ‘The Economist,’ and these are the poorest of the poor and those living on island states and low lying coastlines like ours — more than one billion in 100 countries and counting.”
It must be accepted that one cannot ‘wish away’ the effects of climate change. “Guyana and many other vulnerable states are seeking ways to adapt to this new reality.
The enormous cost required is making adaptation a Herculean task for vulnerable developing countries. Persaud said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett has assured that the physical presence of an FAO office in Georgetown will provide the opportunity for the enhanced monitoring of existing projects.
This will also enable Guyana to benefit from high level expertise in the identification and preparation of new projects in support of the programme to diversify the agriculture sector and to attract new forms of investments into this industry.
With a mini-exhibition highlighting Guyana’s agricultural sector, the FAO office was officially opened on Thursday by President Bharrat Jagdeo.
The main aim of FAO offices around the world is to assist governments to develop policies, programmes and projects to remove the root causes of hunger and malnutrition; to help them to develop their agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors, and to use their environmental and natural resources in a sustainable way.
Apr 09, 2020Army reserve Colonel (Ret’d) John Percy Lewis MSM (Military Service Medal) passed away Tuesday evening to plunge the local sports fraternity into deeper sorrow after losing the battle to a...
Apr 09, 2020
Apr 09, 2020
Apr 08, 2020
Apr 08, 2020
Apr 07, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]