While assuring that he is familiar with the challenges of farming communities, newly-appointed Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy has said his priorities include modernising the sector and introducing new crops to increase production.
According to a news release from the Government Information Agency (GINA), Ramsammy, who succeeds Robert Persaud at the helm of the ministry, said while Guyana has done remarkably well in terms of boosting food security, more focus needs to be placed on incorporating more modern methodology and introducing new crops to increase production, which he said would be given much attention under his leadership.
He also said that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) continues to be a very significant part of the sector and the country’s development plan, given its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
“No one can deny the fact that GuySuCo had challenging years, [but] we will be looking to ensure that the corporation becomes an example of a model enterprise not only for Guyana and the Caribbean but other countries in the ACP,” he was quoted as saying.
The minister also said he is taking over a sector that is poised for greater development and the country is well on the way to reclaiming its former glory as the Caribbean’s bread basket.
Ramsammy, who previously headed the health ministry, will be assisted by Ali Baksh, who was appointed Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, GINA said that newly-appointed Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Persaud intends to focus on “getting the job done” on a number of issues related to forestry, mining, environment and climate change.
“We needed this type of emphasis because within our thrust, the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) and the increase in interest for our natural resources, we needed to have coordination and organisation so that the policies we have would not in any way create friction with each other and hindering development with the natural resources sector,” Persaud told GINA in an invited comment.
Although he is familiar with the sector through forestry and climate change, Persaud said he saw his new post as a challenge that he is looking forward to taking on.