IDB-funded program aims to increase productivity of the agricultural sector while maintaining a sustainable and climate-resilient use of natural resources in Guyana
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of the Co–operative Republic of Guyana are partnering in a new agricultural development initiative to increase the sustainable use of natural resources and agricultural productivity of small farmers.
The US$15 million initiative, to be financed with a loan from the IDB, aims to produce high-quality data for Guyana’s agricultural sector. The project will increase productivity, especially for medium and small farmers. The project will also increase sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards and access to meat processing facilities. Higher productivity will also contribute to reduce pressure on forest and fragile ecosystems, and increase income for small and medium-sized farmers.
In 2014, farm and agricultural activities represented 18% of Guyana’s GDP and 20% of its total employment. Due to the impact of climate change, Guyana endures extensive periods of droughts, which constitute a threat to agriculture producers and undermine its food security. There is a lack of information on livestock and agriculture producers, livestock and agriculture systems, and cost structures throughout the country. This lack of data affects consumers, suppliers, governments, private investors and development organizations.
The program will finance Guyana’s agricultural census, and strengthen its agricultural information system. Two agricultural centers, that will include research and extension services, will be financed for Regions 9 and 10. In these regions, only 3% of farmers receive technical assistance and training. The program will also increase the capacity of the country to comply with sanitary and phytosanitary standards, that will open markets for livestock production.
The IDB loan comes from the IDB’s ordinary capital resources and its Fund for Special Operations, has a 6-year grace period, a 5.5 year disbursement term, and an interest rate based on LIBOR.
The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.
- Christopher Barton