GEORGETOWN, Guyana, October 5, 2021 - Guyana's President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali today said that Guyana will push aggressively for the dismantling of barriers that restrict intra-regional agricultural trade in a bid for the country, and by extension, the Caribbean, to not only attain food security but to also export food.
The Guyanese President, who is the lead Head of Government with responsibility for agriculture in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet, delivered the keynote address virtually at the 16th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) 2021.
“We cannot seriously speak of significantly denting the enormous and unsustainable regional food import bill yet, unwittingly or otherwise erect, and keep in place non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which impede regional trade in agriculture produce and products.”
The President stated that his Government would be “bullish” in pressing to dismantle the barriers.
“I know that there are vested interests who wish to retain these barriers, but the choice facing us is clear.”
In his pre-recorded address, President Ali pointed out that the promotion of regional initiatives aimed at eliminating non-tariff barriers to trade is among the critical areas being addressed by the Special Ministerial Taskforce.
He also said that CWA2021 should address two fundamental questions—why the transformation of regional food systems is necessary and how best the Caribbean can pursue the transformation process.