While Guyana aspires to become the food basket of the Caribbean, its people are still tussling with the high cost of living and the immense markup on even locally produced products. This is according to the country’s Opposition Leader, Aubrey Norton.

The parliamentarian took to social media earlier today to comment on utterances made by President Irfaan Ali on Tuesday at the opening of the International Energy Conference at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown.

Norton took umbrage to Ali’s glowing portrayal of Guyana’s potential to feed the Caribbean.

“He boasts of food security and feeding the Caribbean when Guyanese cannot afford the food being produced here,” Norton said.

While Norton said he does not doubt Guyana’s potential, he lamented that no movement is being made to promote agricultural initiatives in a holistic manner. He said that agricultural sustainability is being promoted in selected districts within the country, with no policy in sight to foster a countrywide push for self-sustainability.

He said that the government’s first responsibility is to ensure that the entire country is self-sufficient before embarking on such a herculean task of supplying the region with produce.

“So all this talk about feeding the Caribbean, we must first feed ourselves; we must first ensure that all regions are self-sufficient,” the Opposition Leader said.

Norton noted also that most of the agricultural activities are centralised on the low coastal plain, an area below sea level and susceptible to the damaging effects of climate change.

“The government will only prove or establish that it is serious about climate change when it begins to shift a lot of our economic activities to the highlands and not continue to make us more and more vulnerable to climate change,” he said.

Back in 2021, heavy rains and high tides resulted in several breaches along the seawalls on the eastern coast that saw several large-scale, cash crop farms being inundated, resulting in millions of dollars in losses. High salinity levels in the soil only led to more challenges with millions more being spent to make lands fertile.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here