Senior Finance Minister, Dr. Ashni Singh yesterday led a team of officials from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) headed by its President, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser, on a tour of Tacama Gold Incorporated’s corn and soya bean project in the Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice Region. Accompanying Minister Singh on the tour was Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha.
During the tour Minister Singh highlighted to Dr. Muhammed Al-Jasser and the IsDB delegation, government’s efforts to promote a strong non-oil economy and in particular, one that is diversified and resilient. He reiterated that agriculture will continue to be a mainstay of the country’s non-oil economy. Other sectors targeted for investment and expansion include tourism, non-oil extractives such gold and bauxite and Information Communications Technology (ICT).
Guyana’s corn and soya bean project is a collaborative effort between Government and a consortium of private developers namely Guyana Stockfeed Limited, Edun Farms, Bounty Farm Limited, Royal Chicken, SBM Wood, Dubulay Ranch, and N F Agriculture, a Brazilian company.
Earlier this month President Irfaan Ali noted that as of the first half of 2023, Guyana has cultivated over 3000 acres of soya beans and over 1200 acres of corn. The Head of State had also indicated that government is committed to ensuring that by the end of 2026, Guyana will have 50,000 acres of land cultivated in corn and soya. The Head of State said this while delivering remarks at the launch of the Seventeenth Caribbean Week of Agriculture.
Guyana’s Head of State had indicated too that in another three years, Guyana’s burgeoning corn and soya bean industry will see over US$40 million in investments that will help catapult the country into self-sufficiency and aid in realising the Caribbean region’s objective of reducing its food import bill by 25% by 2025.
As part of Government’s crucial role in support of the project, the administration committed over $1.2 billion towards infrastructural development in the Tacama area, Berbice River. Government has provided improved access to the area through the construction of 40 kilometres of road and the remaining seven kilometres scheduled for completion in 2023. A further investment was made by Government in a drying and storage facility for corn and soya bean this year to make it the first such facility in Guyana. $150 million was also provided in Government’s 2023 Budget for the construction of a wharf at Tacama as part of improving riverain access to the area.