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Minister Holder says IICA has greatly assisted agriculture sector

first_imgIICA celebrates 43 years in GuyanaAs the celebrations of Agriculture Month continue, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on Thursday celebrated 43 years of existence in Guyana.Agro-processors at the IICA’s open day at its Brickdam officeThe organisation held an open day at its headquarters at Lot 8 Brickdam, Georgetown to give the public insight about its work.Speaking at the event, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder expressed gratitude to the organisation for the much-needed assistance the Ministry has received over the years. He highlighted that the IICA was one of the oldest institutions found in Guyana (it is older than United Nations Guyana).Holder added that the IICA has assisted in training of staff, the production of sheep, and setting up the services of the Guyana Marketing Association among many other services provided. Additionally, Holder mentioned that the IICA would continue to play a major role in the agriculture sector in the future.Earlier, IICA Representative Wilmot Garnett highlighted the work the institution has been doing in Guyana. Garnett explained that over the years the institution has strived to modernise the agriculture sector in Guyana through innovation and the introduction of new varieties of crops.He added that the institution has worked with the Mexican Government to provide scholarships for Guyanese to study biotechnology to support mainly the coconut industry.While the IICA is expecting the Guyana Food Safety Bill to be passed, it seeks to build wealth in rural communities.Even though the IICA has lost the fish market to the United States of America, the new medium-term plan 2018-2022 seeks to develop family farming since 70 per cent of farming and agriculture in Guyana is family operated.The symbolic planting of trees and cutting of cake were done by the Agriculture Minister and Minister within the Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings, at the IICA open day, where a variety of local agricultural products from various agro-processors were on sale. Students of the Carmel Secondary School were also present at the IICA open day.The IICA has been operational in Guyana since 1975. The international organisation supports the efforts of its Member States to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being. The institution is fully focused on making agriculture competitive and sustainable in the Americas. The IICA has been instrumental, along with the Agriculture Ministry, in the introduction of the model dairy farm at the St Stanislaus College Farm, and presently represents 15 organisations. Two cross-cutting issues that have been identified as essential components for the IICA’s future work are gender and youth, and innovation and technology.last_img

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