Permit me to tell my fellow Guyanese of my concerns with the most generous offer by the government of leasing land at US$5 per acre to our Caricom brothers. I use an analogy.
I have in my cupboard bones to feed my dog. My dog is still young and does not have teeth. I invite my neighbour’s mature dog (with teeth) to have dinner with my dog and throw them the bones. Have I fed my dog? Maybe I should wait until my dog gets teeth.
Surely the president is correct in saying that both Guyanese and other Caricom nationals will have to pay the same fee for land but we borrow at 21% interest payable the next month while they enjoy 4-6% with a moratorium.
Consider a case of a Guyanese and a Barbadian wanting to develop a farm and needing to lease 100 acres. To lease this land they have to show by way of a project document how they will attain profitability and the better of the two will get the land. The Barbadian with his significantly lower cost of capital and favourable borrowing terms will win every time since they will have more money to put back into the farm (lower interest) and can make a larger initial investment (moratorium).
I also have not seen reciprocity; of course we have a big heart and a bench at Grantley Adams international.
Mohamed F. Khan