Re: From economic growth to food security and better nutrition

Final Year Economics Students (group 5)

Dear moderator and fellow contributors, your comments has been very interesting and insightful thus far on the present discussion. We would like to make our contributions to question one:

Can you share specific experiences in which social protection and better food security governance have led to advances in local food security and improved nutrition?

As you all know food security is a major issue in our world today which has brought about an increase in demands for agricultural products. As a result, the Caribbean has brought about the initiative to grow more food in Guyana so as to satisfy these expanded markets for traditional and non-traditional agricultural products. Hence the Grow More Food Campagin was launched so as to meet these requirements. Below are two of the projects under this initiative:

1)The Ministry of Agriculture implemented the Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Development Project (READ) in 2009 of which it is still ongoing. This project contains an agricultural diversification strategy for both traditional products (rice and sugar) and nontraditional products (fruits, vegetables, spices) intended for the poor rural households. These products represent an opportunity for growth in Guyana and as such it promotes Guyana export capacity. READ falls under the ‘Grow More Food Campaign’ seeks at increasing the provision of food in Guyana. The small farmers(both men and women) gained by the improved technologies in production, improved rural income, availability of support and assistance to resource the small farmers, and the development of linkages between rural producers and distributors (wholesalers and retailers). The benefits that the small farmers acquire led to a greater yield and as such an improved quality of the produce of their fruits and vegetables. The Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Development project focuses on training the farmers in areas of rural enterprise (business ventures for farmers) and market development. The training and techniques famers gained will strengthen the human and social capital in the rural areas which will increase the self reliance when addressing challenges they may faced.

2)Also in 2009, The Ministry of Agriculture initiated the Rice and Beans Project for the Hinterland communities. This project support rural development through increasing the cultivation of rice and beans (such as black eye beans) in Moco Moco. At the first harvest, more than 2000 bags of rice paddy and 4200 pounds of beans were produced. Accessibility to affordable food was provided and the development of dietary supplements in the Amerindian communities increases the nutritional intake of the residents. The expansion of these two food groups gives a direct attainment of food security since these areas are relatively food insecure. The Rice and Beans project is feasible and as such it was expanded to other Amerindian communities to become food secure. By utilizing the savannah lands and dealing with legumes, a bond was constructed for storing equipments, machines and chemicals. Human capital in the Hinterland communities was acquired through the support of The National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) by training the Amerindians modern agriculture methods.  Significantly, the Rice and Beans project secured employment opportunities for the people.

Thank you!