Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

·         What are your experiences of addressing these types of challenges and what have been successful or unsuccessful strategies and approaches?

The Fishing industry in Guyana according to Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy while addressing the Fisher  Folk convention which was conducted recently at  the Guyana International Convention Centre Liliendaal, It  is an important and significant industry and contributes to the overall development of Guyana. The industry’s success can be characterized into some key indicators. These are as follows. In terms of food security he stated that fishing industry provides a relatively cheap source of animal protein in the Guyanese diet, an essential element in meeting dietary needs, in meeting the caloric intake and in meeting the balanced meal criteria.”   He further discussed the role of fishing industry in job employment in local markets and its contribution to the country’s foreign exchange rate and export levels. These are just a few to which growth in any developing country can be determined. However, there are other indicators on which success are determined.This, seeks to emphasize on the accessability , stability of pricing and ready availability of nutritious food across the populace.

Fishing existed over 1oo years ago in mostly rural areas of Guyana which resulted in a cultural fishing tradition in many households especially those of the Amerindians ethnicity  and as a form of dietary protein.  According to the Fisheries Act, the industry in the earlier days encountered operation challenges in the administrative funding due to institutional weaknesses .Thus, the industry suffered the inability to fathom growth and further strategize on data collection, policy making, implementation, and monitoring growth in the economy.

In the practical case of success in Guyana’s case was not possible and was rather stifled in the past because of miscommunication and lack of information and state failure that existed in this industry. From this point and onwards in this post our group seeks to address how these challenges were addressed through policy reforms, strategies and approaches used by government officials in accordance with the SSF guideline to rekindle the growth that was visible and continues to grow moderately in long run.

In the beginning of the late 198o the fisheries Act was reconstructed and two organizations were formed to overseer the fishing industry. These were Guyana Fisheries Limited (GFL) and Guyana Libya Fishing Company (GLFC) that dealt solely with fishing purposes. Today these organizations no longer exist and they are quite a few new organizations including the Guyana Fishing Association, Ministry of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock  (MFCL),  all under the state and with one of the main objective which is the provision of essential services  e.g. marketing information to the fishing industry. On the other hand, and similarly SSF in Guyana are viewing this industry not as just a mere family tradition and a form of income but as a widely, cheap, and nutritious form of eradicating hunger and promoting not only growth of the economy but longevity of one’s life.  Given the awareness of both parties, i.e. the government and small fishers, especially now with the state there will likely be a continuous flow of information and experiences will be transcended through these networks to facilitate the involvement of  Small Scale Fishers and implementation of the SSF in policy reforms.