In wake of criticisms that the Government is giving away lands to other Caribbean countries, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha stated that this is not the case. Instead, he said that the lands would be used for the black belly sheep initiative.
During the opening of the Barbados’ Agro-Fest, President Irfaan Ali announced 50 acres of land for Barbados youths for agricultural purposes.
Minister Mustapha noted that the land is being contracted, and as such, it is still owned by Guyana.
“That land is still Guyana land. Barbados is giving us land to make a food terminal in Barbados and those are expensive land too.” … the Bajans should have vex with us too for receiving land for the food terminal.” The land is being utilise to increase this black belly sheep in the country and we will have to benefit because we are in Guyana,” Minister Mustapha explained
The Agriculture Minister told MTV News Update that he believes that these criticisms aim to create “mischief.”
He stressed that these partnerships are crucial to achieving the Caribbean Region (CARICOM) goal of reducing the food import bill by 25% by 2025.
Barbados will also be providing 1000 black belly sheep to Guyana. This aims to increase mutton production locally and eventually start exporting to the region.
The Caribbean, on average, imports US$48M in mutton and its byproduct from Australia and New Zealand annually.