President David Granger on Friday afternoon, told residents of the East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six) that the national Botanical Gardens will be modified to contain varieties of every tree found anywhere in Guyana.
“I am going to change the National Botanical Gardens. That Botanical Gardens must be the home of a specimen of every tree in Guyana. It must obtain, it must contain, it must maintain several specimens of all species of trees in Guyana. Children must be able to go and see what a greenheart tree is, what a crabwood tree is, what a purpleheart tree is…not just mango and guava [trees]. They have a thousand species of trees to learn about,” said President Granger.
The Head of State, at this year’s National Tree Planting Day held at Union Village (No. 53), East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six), said “the Botanical Gardens must become a schoolhouse for our children to learn the wonders of Guyana’s trees.”
Meanwhile, the President noted that Guyana will commemorate the 50th anniversary of its Republican status next year, which will coincide with petroleum development and the launch a Decade of Development: 2020-2029.
The ‘Decade’ is aimed at ensuring that every section, sector and segment of our society will benefit from economic development.
The President said objectives of the Decade of Development are aligned to the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS): Vision 2040.
“The ‘Strategy’ has identified the production of fruits and vegetables as a growth pole. Government will support the shift to organic practices in the cultivation of fruits and vegetables so as to take advantage of niche organic markets, including markets in agro-industry. It will promote the development of fruits and vegetables and the addition of value to these products,” President Granger said, noting that Guyanese can look forward to a ‘Decade’ which will lay the foundation for sustained progress and prosperity, including through the diversification and industrialisation of agriculture.
The President assured that agriculture will not be neglected during the ‘Decade’ and that food products, not petroleum, will remain a mainstay of the economy.
“Agro-processing will intensify during the ‘Decade’. Guyana’s petroleum revenues, inter alia, will be deployed to modernise the agricultural sector, including by adding value to primary, locally-produced fruits and vegetables, in accordance with the ‘Strategy’,” the Head of State said.
Further, President Granger said investment is the muscle of production and Government, notwithstanding the advances made over the past four years, recognises the need to catalyse the agro-industrial sector.
“It will offer fiscal incentives for investors interested in promoting export-oriented agro-processing,” he said.
President Granger iterated that trees are essential to developing the agro-industrial sector. He reminded that the East Berbice-Corentyne has the land, the expertise and the experience to accelerate the development of tree-based, agro-processing which can provide economic and environmental benefits.
The President said the agro-processing of fruits will allow everyone to benefit from trees without having to cut them down, adding that the Regions should encourage the generation of gardens, greenhouses and orchards to grow more trees.
Additionally, the Head of State said the ‘Decade’ will place emphasis also on the protection and preservation of the forests. The ‘Decade’ will see the implementation of policies, programmes and projects aimed at ensuring that miners and loggers contribute to land reclamation and reforestation as part of their permits to log and mine; expanding the use of mangrove forests in the protection of our sea defences and increasing value-added in the timber industry; and establishing ‘green’ spaces and parks in every region and, where possible, in every community, neighbourhood and village.
Agro-processing is a key element of Guyana’s Green State Development Strategy: Vision 2040. The ‘Strategy’ is Guyana’s roadmap towards becoming a ‘green’ state and one which emphasises the commodification of agricultural production. (MoTP)
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