Given Guyana’s 18 discoveries in the Stabroek Block, it is safe to say that the new oil-producing state has secured a massive revenue stream for years to come. But to ensure its overall economic success, the nation must efficiently manage its oil resources by using it to ensure the development of other sectors such as agriculture says Dr. Terrence Blackman, Associate Professor at Medgar Evers College, USA.
In his most recent commentary, Dr. Blackman made reference to a presentation that was made in August 2018 by Guyanese entrepreneur Allison Butters-Grant who sounded the alarm at the USD$50 Million Guyanese food import bill and subsequently appealed for all Guyanese students to consider careers in agriculture.
He also noted that Guyanese veterinarian, Dr. Nicholas Waldron, had also raised this issue. Dr. Waldron had said, “We need to remember that agriculture is an important science too. Modern agriculture is highly scientific and applies to various advanced technologies in a wide range of areas.”
“With the threat of the ‘resource curse’ hanging over our heads, we need to somehow make agriculture more ‘sexy’ and attractive to the younger folk, or else we will either starve or find ourselves wholly dependent on others for our food…”
With the foregoing in mind, Dr. Blackman said it is imperative that Guyana and even the wider Caribbean begin to orient itself to this new reality and begin the necessary steps that would lead to a significant reduction in the food import bill.