- Minister Mustapha advocates For better production to improve food security.
Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha told members of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Latin America and the Caribbean that better production is needed in the agriculture sector to be resilient in the face of climate change.
He said to achieve this, countries must ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns through efficient and inclusive food and agriculture supply chains at the local, regional, global levels.
The Minister, who is the Vice Chairman of the FAO Regional Conference, was at the time presenting Guyana’s position on the interventions needed to achieve better production, focusing on innovative small-scale family farming and small and medium enterprises in the agri-food sector.
“Better production means ensuring resilience and sustainable agri-food system in the face of climate change and its impact on the environment since food and nutrition security of our countries depend on a sustainable and productive agriculture sector.”
Noting the agriculture sector’s vulnerability to climate change and the negative impact that it can have on food security, Minister Mustapha maintained that regional leaders and policymakers must be innovative in their efforts to ensure better production.
“Emphasis has to be placed on a higher and more advanced degree of commercialization, embracing specialised production and the increased importance of research and development and the use of technology.”
He told the conference that his government has been investing in innovations that are aimed at improving productivity which is driven by research and development.
While giving an overview of Guyana’s efforts so far, Minister Mustapha said the government has been encouraging and investing in innovations with a focus on productivity improvements driven by research and development, strengthening climate resilience, advancing the use of technology, and intensifying improved land and water management practices.
“Guyana is making a stride to improve research and technology by developing desired genetic material for livestock species. We’ve also been pushing for the use of shade house technology as an adaptive strategy to the threats of climate change. In 2021, 150 shade houses were constructed, while in 2022, in excess of 200 shade houses are targeted for construction.”
Minister Mustapha also highlighted that Guyana remains extremely susceptible to hydrometeorological hazards such as floods and droughts and that a National Flood Early Warning System was designed for the prediction of extreme flood events.
This system, he noted, supports and strengthens the Guyanese flood forecasting practices and flood early warning system activities.