By Kellon Rover
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Guyana and Dominica are exploring becoming partners in corn production and the Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme, as aggressive effort is being made to ensure that sufficient food is available for citizens of the two CARICOM states.
“The president and I have agreed on some areas of cooperation and collaboration on this, and I think in the next few weeks, we will see actual actions taken to advancing those areas of cooperation,” Dominica’s prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit told journalists last Friday.
Prime minister Skerrit was among a number of CARICOM heads who visited Guyana for the three-day inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo, held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) over the weekend.
The prime minister stated that while the partnership is between the two Caribbean states, “the overall thing for me is not what is in it for Dominica specifically, but what is in it for CARICOM.”
In Guyana, the government has made a significant investment in corn production which is among the commodities targeted for development under the ministry of agriculture’s Intermediate Savannahs Development Initiative.
Moreover, the agriculture and innovation entrepreneurship programme is a brainchild of president, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, established to stimulate and promote economic growth in the lives of young agriculturists.
The two initiatives have been doing well since they were invented, and now create wider avenues for local and international farmers.
Meanwhile, prime minister Skerrit pointed out that CARICOM’s intention is to give farmers and other producers the opportunity to create wealth for themselves and their families, and ensure rural Caribbean communities thrive.
“Their families can have access to better education and housing, and I believe that those of us who live in rural countries should celebrate the conference and the actionable plans that have been identified going forward,” the island country leader added.
He underscored that the investment forum allowed for pragmatic and concrete proposals, which he believes, are all achievable, citing that the political will is evident among the country leaders to advance the food agenda.
“Obviously, it’s going to take more than the political leadership, it going to take the private sector, the farmers, the financial institutions because one of the challenges we have in the region is that the commercial banks are not prepared to finance agriculture projects, and therefore they need to come on board as well,” the prime minister noted.
Unlike other conferences he attended, prime minister Skerrit underscored his confidence and optimism that the just concluded forum will make way for incredible successes in the food agenda.