US$7.5B investment required in Agriculture- CARICOM Business

File Photo| Vice President of Guyana, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo (Photo via DPI)

Guyana’s Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo has estimated that an additional US$7.5 billion in private sector investment is required in the Region’s agriculture sector if the goal of increasing output by US$1.5 billion by 2025 is to be realized.

Speaking at the inaugural Agro-investment Forum and Expo underway in Guyana, Mr Jagdeo also recommended that CARICOM Heads of Governments ensure that the agriculture sector gets the requisite concessions and budgetary allocations for public sector investment projects such as farm roads and drainage and irrigation.

Cast against the backdrop that the USA has provided an average of US$16 billion annually over the last 10 years, in direct subsidies to its farmers, the Guyanese Vice President noted that the Region’s agriculture is unable to compete with its principal trading partner. He also lamented that current SPS standards are being used as barriers to regional trade which was being compounded by a fragmented transport system. CARICOM has set a target of reducing the Region’s more than US$6 billion annual food import bill by 25% by 2025 to combat food insecurity.

Extract from the CARICOM BUSINESS Newsletter, Vol 5 No. 21

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