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Globally recognised accreditation for local agro products likely with Jamaican support

Some locally grown provisions, greens and peppers (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

In Jamaica’s latest efforts to build a presence in Guyana and be part of the nation’s development, the Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce eyes a partnership to streamline accreditation for export of agro products.

A Jamaican delegation of 38, led by Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce Aubyn Hill, is spending this week in Guyana seeking partnerships and investment opportunities to benefit from Guyana’s projected economic boom.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected overall real GDP growth for the Guyanese economy to be 57.8 percent in 2022, with non-oil economy growth at a significant 7.7 percent.

Minister Hill believes Jamaican expertise and resources for food product accreditation, which ranks among the best in the region, can greatly benefit Guyana’s agricultural sector.

“We’re planning to have a relationship with Guyana so that, as you produce more food, we provide the testing in partnership with a Guyanese company that we’re going to work towards setting up with you to do the accreditation. We have FDA accreditations, we have other accreditations, we are one of four countries in the world that have an FDA accreditation to accredit food going to the United States so that you don’t have to be tested when you go there again. We’re ready to do that.

Hill notes that Guyana’s rice and food products have benefitted from these services through the Jamaica National Accreditation Company in the past.

He is now seeking an enhanced partnership with a local company to enhance efficiency in this area.

“The agro business has to be developed. We’re looking at orchard plants, we’re looking at ordinary root plants; yams, dasheen and so on. The full range of products. You’re going to grow soy. You have always been growing rice. You’re going to improve your sugar. So there’s all kinds of arrangements we must do. But we must stop selling just the raw product. We must agro process and ensure we add value.

This aligns with vision 25 by 25, a Guyana-led comprehensive plan to reduce the food import bill of the CARICOM region. The plan aims to accomplish this by increasing the region's self-sustenance and food security through boosting intra-regional food trade and boosting production.


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