THE local office of the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) has received special praise for its work and achievements in supporting agricultural development in Guyana since its establishment 40 years ago.Agriculture Minister Noel Holder yesterday made appreciative remarks of the work of the IICA during a simple ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of its establishment in Guyana.
Minister Holder stated that Guyana has benefited greatly from the work of IICA in myriad forms of assistance and support over the period. These include technical assistance in promoting food safety and agricultural health; development of value chains in agricultural production; institutional strengthening; productivity and sustainability of family agriculture for food security and the rural economy; rural development actions and resilience and comprehensive management in agriculture, among others.
He said: “We are proud to be associated with IICA in Guyana on this important milestone. We reflect with gratitude on the past, and look forward to even greater collaboration and partnerships for the continued upward thrust of agriculture in the years ahead.”
Local representative of IICA in Guyana Mr. Wilmot Garnett, disclosed that the mission of IICA is to encourage and support member states in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical co-operation of excellence.
Its vision is, in partnership with member states, to create a competitive, inclusive and sustainable Inter-American agriculture programme that feeds the hemisphere and the world, while at the same time generating opportunities to reduce hunger and poverty among farmers and rural dwellers.
Mr Garnett outlined many of the achievements of the institute in Guyana from 1975 to date. These included successful support for projects which helped Guyana to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the agricultural sector; the strengthening of agriculture’s contribution to the development of rural areas and the well-being of the rural population; the improvement of agricultural capacity to mitigate and adapt to climate change and make better use of natural resources and improve agriculture.
He referred to four IICA flagship projects currently ongoing, namely: Competitiveness and Sustainability of Agricultural Chains for Food Security; Productivity and Sustainability of Family Agriculture for Food Security and the Rural Economy; Resilience and Comprehensive Risk Management in Agriculture; and Inclusion in Agriculture and Rural Communities.
He pledged IICA’s continued support for Guyana in developing production protocols and coordinating mechanisms for legumes and cassava production through preparation of a situational analysis for farmers’ organisations in new settlement schemes; strengthening of the statistical capacity of the Resource Development and Planning Division of the Ministry of Agriculture; and rehabilitation and establishment of a coconut hybridisation programme, in collaboration with the Mexican Government, among others.