The United Kingdom today launched a £1,300,000 ($413m) agricultural diversification programme which is projected to create over 1,000 new jobs.
Launched today at the Satyadeow Sawh Aquatic Centre at Mon Repos, the Guyana Agricultural Diversification Programme (GADP) aims at upping tilapia exports from 1,000 kg per week to 12,000 kg per week. It is also targeting an increase of non-traditional exports such as bell peppers, hot peppers and butternut squash from 1,000 kg per week to 16,000 kg per week.
It is the latest in a string of similar initiatives to diversify agriculture and boost exports by donor countries, multilateral financing institutions and the Government of Guyana. A Grow More Food campaign by the Guyana Government several years ago saw hundreds of millions of dollars invested but its effectiveness and output have been questioned.
A release today from the project which is to be executed by the Carana Corporation said that it will work at three levels: directly with farmers to pioneer new technologies and increase productivity; streamline paperwork and cut red tape for investors and exporters; and help build ties with new markets and buyers for the sector.
The release added that the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID’s) approach is based on its “Making Markets Work for the Poor” (M4P) methodology. “The M4P approach links good development practice with real world market know-how and ensures sustainability through building functioning market systems that do not rely on external support. GADP focuses on building strong local partners, technology transfer, market linkages, policy reform, access to finance and scaling up agriculture and aquaculture for a minimum market order”, the release said.
It said that GADP is founded on acreage expansion and it will work with airline and shipping companies to lower the cost of exports out of Guyana through a hike in the volume of products and cost effective packaging solutions. Cost-effective and reliable transport has been a problem for agri exporters here.
Farmers interested in the programme can contact CARANA Corporation at 223-0632.
The release added that “DFID Caribbean ensures that its programmes demonstrate value for money; showing clear output for UK taxpayer’s pounds spent in the region. DFID Caribbean is determined to be transparent and hold itself accountable to UK and Caribbean citizens.
It said that in Guyana through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) administered Caribbean Aid for Trade Regional Trust Fund (CARTFund), DFID is helping make trade quicker and more efficient through an electronic single window facility for processing imports and exports.
CARANA Corporation has over 28 years of experience implementing economic development programmes in countries around the world and has been operating in Guyana since 2004, the release said.