By Staff Writer
Guyana’s export of pork and it’s by products are poised to increase in quality and quantity as efforts to construct a state-of-the-art swine abattoir get underway.
In providing an update on the abattoir during a meeting with members of the Guyana Swine Producers’ Association (GSPA) on Monday, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said an initial investment was made by the government in 2021 to get the ball rolling on the initiative. He noted that $30M was allocated to contracts to commence internal works such as utilities, roads, and fencing. Mustapha said another request was made to the Finance Ministry as it prepares the 2022 budget to ensure work is continued in this regard.
Minister Mustapha further noted that the government is exploring the possibility of having a Private Public Partnership (PPP) agreement in place to manage the facility.
He said too that his ministry is currently carrying out preliminary works in Garden of Eden on the East Bank of Demerara, after which, a modular facility with international standards will be set up.
Additionally, the government will be looking to have the facility ISO certified, thus clearing the way for export to other parts of the world.
As it relates to issues concerning traceability, Minister Mustapha said the Guyana Food Safety Authority will be tasked with ensuring such products are safe for human consumption adding that legislation is currently being drafted to properly address this concern.
Recently appointed Chairman of the GSPA’s, Forest Smartt told the minister that one of their challenges is access to affordable feed from local rice mills. He said that, in addition to varying costs of feed amongst suppliers, farmers are often under strain to feed their animals, more so due to the impacts of the global pandemic on international trade and shipments.
In this regard, Minister Mustapha said, prior to Monday’s meeting, the ministry sought to engage the Guyana Rice Producers’ Association on the issue.
“I’ve asked the Guyana Livestock and Development Authority (GLDA) to get the approximate quota so that we’ll be able to further engage the Guyana Rice Millers’ Association.”
In the long term, Mustapha said the government is looking to be self-sufficient in producing proteins for the feed industry. He reminded that a project with the production of corn and soya bean has commenced along the Berbice River and by the end of this year, it should be able to start cultivating between 7,000 to 10,000 acres. Next year, he said the government expects production to go straight on to 30,000 acres. He said this would provide an incredible boost to the feed industry and even support profitable exports within the region.