Ministry of Finance
Guyana and IFAD signs agreement to invest in Agriculture, strengthen small scale farming in the hinterland and diversify economy
Government’s mission to reduce poverty in the most vulnerable communities received a sizeable boost today when Minister of Finance, Hon. Winston Jordan and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) signed a financial agreement to transform the lives of 30,000 people in Guyana’s hinterland.
The Hinterland Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Development Project referred to as the ‘Hinterland Project’ will operate in Region 9 as well as Mabaruma and Moruca in Region 1. It will initially only focus on the North Rupununi in order to capitalize on current government efforts to exploit the agricultural potential of the area but will also be conducted in Central and South Rupununi, areas most affected by climate change.
At the signing, Minister Jordan said, “The Guyanese economy has remained un-diversified. Guyana’s “bread and butter sector”, the agricultural sector, also remained unchanged with heavy reliance on sugar and rice (so) this operation is expected to boost the Government’s efforts in diversifying the economy as well as open up new markets and new trade agreements for Guyana.”
The agreement was signed today at IFAD headquarters in Rome by Winston Jordan, Minister for Finance of Guyana and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD.
The total cost of the project is US$11.1 million of which IFAD is providing a $7.9 million loan and a $500,000 grant. Other co-financiers are: the Government of Guyana ($2.4 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($300,000).
IFAD’s Country Programme Manager for Guyana, Ladislao Rubio said, "Guyana has set an ambitious goal of exploiting the country's potential in the agricultural sector and devoting special attention to hinterland areas through the efficient and sustainable use of the country's natural resources.” He added, "By building social, human and natural capital and addressing climate change and malnutrition issues, the project will help improve resilience to climate change.”
The Hinterland Project will: 1. Support communities and producer groups within communities to identify investment opportunities and managed economic and climate risks, some 4500 households will benefit. 2. Develop business plans and investment and income generating opportunities and increase market access: Some 2000 households will be targeted. 3. Facilitate increased access to assets that build community resilience and create enabling productive environment such as water, energy and ICT and ensure that poor indigenous and non-indigenous rural households living in the Project area, whose livelihoods are threatened by economic and environmental risks, are direct beneficiaries. At least 15 per cent of these households will be female-headed households – a reflection of the reality in the Project area.
The Lead agency for the implementation of the Hinterland Project will be the Ministry of Agriculture through its Agriculture’s Sector Development Unit (ASDU) and will be assisted by the Ministries of Indigenous Affairs, Natural Resources & Energy, Communities and Business and other government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and local educational institutes.
IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub. It invests in rural people, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1987, IFAD has provided over US$22.9 million in financing for three rural development initiatives, reaching over 12,000 households.