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Jun 19, 2016 News
– Government wants to make greater use of State’s land space
During his weekly programme, “Public Interest”, the Head of State, David Granger, disclosed that the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) – commonly referred to as the “Jagdeo Initiative”, will come under review in an aim to make greater use of Guyana’s land space.
The President said that he refers to Guyana as the hinterland of the Caribbean since no other member state of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has the land space that the country possesses.
He stated that the Government wants to make greater use of the savannahs in particular, while at the same time, increase efforts in the productive sector.
While indicating that there are some problems being faced by the sugar industry, the President said that “We are not coming out of sugar or rice, but at the same time we must diversify,”
He also stated that the agricultural landscape will be transformed in the coming years and Guyana will be able to produce more food which can be processed and marketed in the Eastern Caribbean – which is important.
With the CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting slated for July 4 to 6 in Guyana, the President stated that CAP will not be featured on the agenda.
However, other will be address particularly, the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Security.
“…We’ve had some threats and the fact that Trinidad and Guyana might face some threats of terrorism, so these are likely to feature on the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting agenda,” the Head of State said.
Based on reports, The Jagdeo Initiative was cited as a “practical instrument” to move forward the Regional Transformation Programme (RTP) on Agriculture or its successor – CAP.
The initiative began in 2002 when Bharrat Jagdeo, the Former President now Leader of the Main Parliamentary Opposition – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) lead CARICOM Head of Government for Agriculture, sought the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
Then in late 2003, he proposed that the region build on its past effort to develop a Common Agricultural Policy and requested the Directors General of IICA and the FAO to support the CARICOM Secretariat in developing a framework for repositioning agriculture in the region.
Ten constraints to the success of the Jagdeo Initiative have been identified including limited financing and inadequate new investment in agriculture. Others are outdated and insufficient agricultural health and food safety systems; inadequate research and development. A fragmented and disorganised private sector; inefficient land and water-distribution management systems; deficient and uncoordinated risk management measures; inadequate transportation systems, weak and non-integrated information and intelligence systems also characterize the sector. In terms of marketing, weak linkages and participation of producers in growth market segments; and lack of skilled and quality human resources were also identified.
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