Suriname has for almost a week now been preventing the entry of fruits and vegetables grown in Guyana from entering its ports. This revelation was brought to the attention of this newspaper yesterday.
It was related that Surinamese immigration personnel “just stopped letting the people bring in fruits and vegetables from Guyana and are stopping meat and fish too from coming through the back track.”
The situation has left a number of persons in a quandary, particularly those who sell the now barred items in Suriname, as there has been no reason given for the drastic action.
Farmers Relations Specialist within the Ministry of Agriculture, Parmanand Persaud, claimed he was unaware of such an action when contacted yesterday. Efforts to contact the Suriname Embassy around 17:00 hours were also futile.
However, the Agriculture Ministry subsequent to this newspaper’s query sent out a release which stated that “The Ministry of Agriculture is investigating reports through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of there being a change in the protocol at the Surinamese port of entries for Guyanese agricultural produce.”
In the release it was noted that recently there has been an increase in cross border agriculture trade thus the need for greater surveillance at various ports has been highlighted by the Agriculture Minister, Robert Persaud.
According to the release, the Minister will be visiting Suriname and French Guyana next week to follow up on ongoing collaboration in the area of forestry, research and agriculture development.
It outlined that during the visit, Minister Persaud will meet with his counterpart, Minister of Agriculture of Suriname, the Honorable K. Stanley Raghoebarsing, to continue discussions on Guyana/Suriname developing joint response to various threats to the agriculture sector of both countries, including the need to enhance plant health surveillance and response mechanisms.
Minister Persaud it was noted has been in contact with his Surinamese colleague to explore ways to further cooperation.
The release added that Guyana has intensified its plant health management system working through regional and multi-regional agencies including the Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as well as support from other governments, including the United States Department for Agriculture (USDA).
The Minister’s discussion with his Surinamese Counterpart next week is expected to see further collaboration in agriculture, the release added.
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