El Gobierno inyecta 65,5 millones de dólares en el programa de mejora de razas ganaderas
Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud said that it has been traditional for the Government to make public, contracts that are being executed, with the aim of beneficiaries being aware of the deliverables in order to receive value for money.
The minister made the statement during the inking of four contracts for several projects including the construction of a breeding station at Mon Repos, which will allow the country to capitalize on regional and international market opportunities.
The contracts which will cover works for the supply of equipment and construction of pens as part of the Ministry's Breed Enhancement Programme, amount to $65.5M.
A contract for over $20M has been awarded to General Equipment Guyana Limited for the supply, delivery, installation and testing of field equipment for breed enhancement programme; $11.9M awarded to AS Woodworking Establishment for supply, delivery and installation of executive desks, conference tables among other while contracts valued $6.5M and $26.7M were awarded to International Pharmaceutical Agency and Alvin Chowramootoo Construction service respectively for the supply, delivery and installation of metal storage cabinets, lab stools and rehabilitation and construction of pens for the Guyana Livestock Breeding Station.
Minister Persaud added that the initiative is also part of a wider culture within the Agriculture Diversification Project, which for the first time has benefited from substantial resources towards further developing the livestock sector.
Under the ADP project, US$6M will be invested this year, with the aim of not only supporting small and large scale farmers, but also providing the necessary facilities to position Guyana to become a producer and a major exporter of food.
"The project here that we are about to sign for the building is the civil works of the project, but there are other elements that you will certainly be aware of….We need the building and other equipment such as the necessary implements to develop the requisite pastures,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that the breeding station will not only target cattle, but will cater for small ruminants and other livestock, noting that it will pave the way for the development of the sector on an incremental basis.
“This project will allow us to move very swiftly and within the next week we will finalize another project for another element of the breed enhancement project within this context. In Guyana we are self sufficient in terms of our livestock needs as many of us would be aware for the fourth consecutive year we didn't need to import poultry meat,” the Minister said.
The Government has also being in talks with the Trinidadian and Surinamese authorities to establish market linkages. Thus far, the Suriname Government has indicated its willingness to source poultry and cattle from Guyana.
Efforts are also being made to export not only rice to the Venezuelan Government, but livestock as well.
“We are in the midst of a global food crisis that is taking its toll not only on the region but across the globe and certainly in Guyana we are positioning ourselves to capitalize on the opportunities,” Minister Persaud added.
With respect to the population trend, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has estimated that livestock output will have to be doubled to meet the required level of food demand by 2030.
To ensure that the livestock sector in Guyana remains viable to supply growing demand, Government has been investing huge sums over the years. This has also seen farmers benefiting from the animal distribution programme in keeping with its ‘Grow More Food Campaign'.