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Guyana and Suriname combine to expand rice and poultry exports

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GUYANA and Suriname have inked a new agreement under which they will seek to target new global markets by joint expansion of their poultry and rice sectors. The Caricom countries indicated they will be  supporting each in entering the North American, European and regional markets.

Rice farmers examine paddy stalks in a rice field at Mahaicony, Guyana. (File photo)

In a joint press conference at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) last week, it was noted that both countries are also seeking to satisfy the demand for poultry in the Caribbean Community (Caricom).

Under discussions, it was also agreed to renew the collaboration between the rice development boards of Guyana and Suriname, which have been dormant for the last 12 years. It was outlined that the rice development boards of both Caricom member countries will exchange data, ideas, policies and plans, “as well as provide support to each other in areas of weaknesses”.

President of Suriname Chandrikapersad Santokhi (File photo)

Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi said that while the country is a large exporter to the European market, there is unavailability of higher-grade paddy seedlings, which are in demand in Europe as well. Guyana’s Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha indicated, too, that his country is facilitating the movement of paddy seedlings to Suriname by the end of October 2021.

At the joint press conference, both Minister Mustapha and Suriname’s Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Parmanand Sewdien signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), titled Protocol concerning the Trade in Fresh Agricultural Produce The accord addresses commercial shipments of agricultural produce covering organic production of fresh produce and providing guidelines under which they will be produced, stored in pack houses, and eventually packaged and transported to each country.

Guyana’s Minister Of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha (Photo: CARDI)

It was noted that efforts will be made to ensure international obligations, standards and guidelines are met in relation to the production, certification, processing, packaging, storing and transporting of agricultural produce between Suriname and Guyana.