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Distributors should not be threatened by food security plan

-They can reengineer and make use of opportunities - President Ali

President Irfaan Ali [Photo: Office of the President]

CARICOM has embarked on an aggressive agriculture agenda that is geared towards making the region food secure by way of becoming independent in the production of their food supplies, and reduce the humungous import bill. Guyana is leading in this direction with President Irfaan Ali at the forefront; however, on Thursday, President Ali revealed that a lot of large distributors in the region feel threatened by this initiative. Speaking during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley, the Guyanese Head of State said they should not feel this way, but recommended remodeling and making use of opportunities.

“But really, should they feel threatened? Absolutely not! This is a major opportunity to reverse engineer what they are doing and benefit two ways.” “You benefit through distribution and you benefit through the production process and instead of bringing things down from the US and Miami, we can now push produce up,” President Ali pointed out. Northern Brazil had indicated its interest into being integrated into CARICOM's vision of being food secure and the Head of State said, "We have not leveraged our proximity through Guyana with Northern Brazil and the potential that exists there and what exists there." "We are now setting a framework through which we can leverage that potential to the benefit of the people of this region, the businesses of this region, the distribution channels of this region, but more importantly to our diaspora," he asserted. Apart from this regional initiative, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana have established a joint food security plan that focuses on coconuts, agro processing, aquaculture, rice, corn, soya, human resources, and livestock production. "These are the areas where we are taking action on in a collaborative way," the Trinidadian Prime Minister had pointed out.

Meanwhile, a task force consisting members from Guyana and the Trinidad and Tobago is working to reduce non-tariff barriers between the two nations.

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