Last Updated on Friday, 7 July 2023, 19:34 by Denis Chabrol
President Irfaan Ali on Friday announced that government would be making available 25,000 acres of land in East Berbice to increase rice production for the poultry industry with the aim of increasing chicken production for stockpile and the production of sausage and nuggets.
Addressing poultry producers, he said Guyana hoped to team up with neighbouring Suriname which would also be providing 75,000 acres of land for the cultivation of grains for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member nations. “If we can form ourselves in a consortium here- we are the closest to Suriname- the area that they have identified is very close to Guyana; let’s form ourselves into a consortium and go after the 75,000 acres of land also for the production of grains but, in this case, we’ll be producing that grain for the regional market,” he said.
Through a government-private sector co-investment arrangement, he said chicken produced in Suriname and Guyana would be used to satisfy domestic demand as well as produce sausage and nuggets for export to Cuba and the Dominican Republic as well as specialised kosher and halaal markets. “We are not stopping. We are pushing ahead. We are going after this in a massive, massive way,” he added.
He said with increased chicken production, more protein-rich waste would become available for the aquaculture sector,
An official of the Guyana Livestock Development Agency, who was at the meeting underscored the importance of Guyana meeting the required ISO standards to make the sausages and chicken nuggets export-ready to those markets.
While, according to the President, Guyana is expected to be self-sufficient in corn and soya and would be able to export to the Caribbean by 2025, the President said the entire Caribbean Community (CARICOM) would have to address the 20 percent storage capacity for rice, corn and soya. “We would have to increase our storage capacity ten-fold,” he said. That, he said, would be an opportunity for investors in the Diaspora.
The President said the plan included government co-investing with poultry producers in the construction of cold storage facilities in the administrative regions of Guyana to stockpile excess chicken during periods of glut for release to the market when there is a scarcity in order to always guarantee chicken supply at a reasonable price. “When you ramp up production and we have periods of over production, they go into the cold storage,” he said.
A Project Implementation Unit, he said, would be established for that poultry master plan. Technical experts are expected to include the International Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The President tasked that project team to examine the possibility of establishing a zone for farmers’ chickens to be in one location.