Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha said Guyana’s growing economy has provided a host of opportunities for business, investment and trade.
He was speaking to several Guyanese businessmen and women Tuesday evening, during an “Opportunities for Doing Business in Guyana” stakeholders’ meeting at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
He told Guyanese that government is aggressively working to create a conducive environment for the growth and development of the country.
“And as such we invite you to explore the opportunities for doing business in Guyana and invest in not just transforming Guyana’s agri-food system, but the CARICOM Region’s agri-food system, as Guyana plays a major role in providing food to the region,” Minister Mustapha said.
Sharing areas for investment in the agriculture sector, the minister disclosed that the agriculture along with the forestry, and fishing sectors are expected to expand by some 8.9 percent this year.
He noted that Guyana has seen heightened consumer preferences as a direct result of the influx of expatriates to serve oil and gas and auxiliary sectors. This, he added, has led to an increased demand for processed foods with greater domestic value-added.
“In light of the increasing demand for food, there is a high potential for future growth in the downstream components of the food value chain particularly processing, wholesaling, retailing and logistics. The Government of Guyana recognises the importance of partnering with the private sector to improve and develop our food systems. As a result, the Government of Guyana has facilitated and created an environment that supports investments across all sectors,” the minister said.
Furthermore, Minister Mustapha said there are opportunities that would guarantee favourable returns in both the traditional and non-traditional agriculture sectors.
“For example in the rice sector, opportunities exist for rice production in Region Nine where vast savannah lands are available. There are also areas for investment for the downstream processing of rice into different kinds of pasta, noodles, cereals, snack foods, etc. For corn and soya beans, the soil in Guyana’s Immediate Savannah has adequate soil and climatological conditions for the implementation of large-scale grain farming for these crops to about 85,000 acres. There are also areas for investment in the poultry, beef, swine, and small ruminant production sector. Agro-processing and aquaculture are also two subsectors with great promise that would guarantee tremendous returns on your investment,” Minister Mustapha said.
Since taking office, the government has been adamant about engaging and encouraging Guyanese living overseas to play their part in the country’s development by returning home and investing in the economy.