His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, made the announcement at an engagement with poultry farmers at State House on Saturday.
“We will introduce a facility under which the interest income earned by commercial banks on loans granted to the poultry sector will be free of corporate income tax. This will enable commercial banks to lower the interest rate they charge the poultry sector by about three per cent, from about eight per cent to about five per cent,” the head of state announced.
This measure will make more liquidity available to farmers and reduce the monthly cost of financing.
This announcement comes following multiple engagements with farmers, in an effort to determine ways to expand and support the sector. During these engagements, President Ali noted that the issue of financing was brought up.
“This latest measure represents the latest step being taken by my government to promote food production, increase food supply, and reduce the cost of basic food items to the final consumer,” he said.
Government has laid out a comprehensive strategy for the short, medium and long term farmers to ensure that the industry remains vibrant and competitive.
Emanating from the issues highlighted at the National Poultry Symposium earlier this month, several of these interventions included the strengthening of the National Poultry Association, and an $11 million investment to equip the quarantine and surveillance unit with the necessary tools and equipment. Moreover, $3 million has been expended to equip the Guyana Livestock Development Authority’s Nutrition Laboratory with additional instruments.
The training of technical staff in good poultry production, health and laboratory practices was also another intervention stemming from the symposium.
The PPP/C administration’s agricultural diversification agenda has also seen the implementation of initiatives, such as the building out of farm-to-market roads to make available more lands for cultivation, increasing investment in drainage and irrigation, as well as fostering public/private partnerships for the development of scale corn and soybean farms.
Additional measures include the removal of the VAT on heavy equipment used in agriculture, the progressive lowering of the excise tax on fuel, and the provision of flood relief to farmers and fisherfolk and fertiliser support to farmers.
“All of these measure have contributed to significant growth in the agriculture sector and laid the foundation for agriculture to continue to be a lynchpin of our vibrant and dynamic non-oil economy,” President Ali said.
Government has embarked on an aggressive endeavour that sees continuous investments in the agriculture sector to encourage food security and sustainability. (Department of Public Information)