Revive Traditional & Non-Traditional Agriculture Sector
The LJP would adopt profound measures to reinvigorate the traditional and non-traditional agriculture sectors and capitalize on the opportunities available – we will stimulate the business of agriculture in Guyana by:
» Holding urgent meetings with all stakeholders to develop a five-year plan for the sugar and rice industry, restoring trust and transparency between the industry and the Government.
» Reconstituting the Guyana Rice Development Board; members to include professional Guyanese selected through a transparent process, from non-partisan, non-political base.
» Improving rice productivity by upgrading milling facilities for export so they can manufacture value-added rice products, such as breakfast cereal and quick cooking rice.
» Introducing new quality rice varieties, notable by high market price, especially aromatic rice – known as the best quality of rice worldwide. Varieties of aromatic rice include: Basmati, Jasmine, Texmati, Wehani, and Wild Pecan rice.
» Promoting the development of one or more, state-of-the-art privately-operated sugar factories, depending on feasibility, in which Guyanese have a stake and from which they benefit.
» Revitalising the sugar cane industry by promoting the production of sugar for domestic consumption, more profitable specialty sugars, molasses for rum production; opportunities also exist for the by-products of sugar-based products, such as ethanol and innovative uses of bagasse, molasses, and press mud.
» Moving to stamp out the plague of praedial larceny using targeted enforcement, deployment of law enforcement personnel and surveillance technologies.
» Establishing an Allotment Program to bring lands into production by providing small lease- holdings and incentives for growing food and protecting the rights of large-and small-scale farmers, vendors, and back-yard producers; encouraging backyard vegetable production and fruit cultivation by every Guyanese household.
» Allocating unused Government lands to bona fide landless farmers to support the production of vegetables, fruits, tree crops and livestock.
» Incentivising the use of green-houses, hydroponics and new, efficient technologies low in water use for crop production, to ensure food security.
» Strengthening the link between agriculture and tourism by promoting agri-tourism, incentivising the development of tours linked to sugar routes, sugar museums, plantation houses, a functioning sugar factory and then to the rum distilleries.
Non-Traditional Agriculture Sector
The LJP would help the non-traditional agriculture sector to realize its full potential for the following HEMP crops, fruits, vegetables, spices, and livestock etc.
The LJP will;
» Legalise HEMP & Medical Marijuana – Join the global market of this multi-trillion dollar emerging industry. HEMP is a leading environmentally friendly crop that will yield maximum return on investment (ROI). HEMP can be used to manufacture multiple goods from fibers to fully bio-degradable bottles that can be used for mass market delivery e.g. Pepsi and or Coke bottles. Customers the wold over are demanding more biodegradable goods and Guyana can be the leader in this market, but only if we act quickly. New markets wait for no one.
» Fresh Fruits – International demand for fresh fruit is growing. Market potential exists for citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and limes, as well as exotic fruits, such as mangoes, sapodillas, papayas, pineapples, and passion fruit. The LJP would help exporters to be able to establish modern post-harvest handling and quality systems to prevent spoilage in transit and meet international sanitary and phytosanitary controls. Additional value can be achieved by shipping selected fruits to destination markets by air, thereby ensuring maximum freshness. In addition to the export industry, opportunities exist for fruit farmers to supply the tourism industry, Oil & Gas industry as well as the expanding agri-processing industry, in Guyana and the Caribbean.
» Fresh Vegetables – Export opportunities exist for a range of vegetables, such as Cucumber, Pumpkin, Watermelon, Melon, Seim (similar to green Romano-beans), Bora (similar to string beans), and Callaloo within the Caribbean and North American markets. However, Guyana’s ability to supply international markets is currently hampered by the time required to transport its products to market. The LJP would help increase in airlift capacity, especially climate controlled, creating enormous export opportunities for this sector. In addition to fresh produce, current opportunities exist to supply Guyanese or Caribbean food processors with raw inputs.
» Plantains, Roots, and Tubers – There is potential to increase Guyana’s exports of selected plantain, roots, and tubers to ethnic markets in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe that LJP would help to realize. Opportunities also exist for malanga, breadfruit, and ground provisions as raw inputs in the snack food industry; and import substitute crops such as Onions, Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic and more.
» Organic Products – As noted above, Guyana has large tracts of land free of agricultural chemicals, providing a unique opportunity to meet a growing demand for organic products in North America and Europe. In most cases, organic products receive a premium price compared to their conventional counterparts. Organic cocoa, pineapple, and heart of palm are already being grown for export. Organic products could also find a welcome market within Guyana and throughout the Caribbean among hotels and restaurants that serve discriminating tourists.
» Organic Peanuts cultivation would be improved in Rupununi region suitable for growing peanuts, home of Mani – Taino name of peanuts; and other peanut derived products would be developed – for local market and export.
» Coconut Products – Diversify coconut product into the following categories: Kernel Based Coconut Products; Coconut Water based Products; Coconut Inflorescence Based Food Products; Coconut Convenience Food Products; Coconut Shell Based Products; Coconut coir-based products; and Coconut-lumber based products.
» Bamboo – Introduce bamboo agri-forestry for sustainable rural development; promote its cultivation for use as food, fiber, fuel, timber and many more.
» Herbs and Spices – There is growing demand in the Caribbean, North America, and Europe for hot peppers, shallots, celery, and other ingredients for seasoning, all of which grow abundantly in various parts of Guyana. Spices such as turmeric, black pepper and ginger can also be grown organically for the local market and export.
» Livestock and Dairy Products – There are excellent investment opportunities for the production of meat (beef and mutton), poultry products, milk, and milk products for both domestic consumption and export to the Caribbean. In particular, Guyana’s savannahs provide a favourable environment for medium to large-scale cattle-raising, which decades ago was popular. Guyana has been certified as foot-and-mouth disease free, providing it with favourable access to many markets. Introduce cooperative dairy practices in green communities.
» Processed Foods – Opportunities exist for processing or semi-processing produce and animal products. Already, Guyana’s exotic and gourmet food products are in demand in Caribbean, North American, and European markets. Products with a large growth potential include jams, jellies, sauces, processed spices, and fruit puree blends.
» Agricultural Support Services – Since the non-traditional agricultural sector is still emerging, there is an ongoing need for investment in inputs, machinery, equipment, systems, and support services. In particular, there are opportunities for air cargo service providers to expand flights for agricultural exports, as well as for investments in cold storage facilities, post-harvest handling, and packaging services.