GSA to be transformed into Regional Centre for Excellence in Agriculture

GSA to be transformed into Regional Centre for Excellence in Agriculture

The Agri-Investment Forum and Expo opened this morning with President Irfaan Ali unveiling a US$4.5M Agri-Innovation Project.

The President also announced plans to transform the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) into a Regional Centre for Excellence, with the backing of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Plans are also in the pipeline to create 3,000 innovation jobs in the field of technology with the help of Canada.

President Ali, who just returned from the Canada-CARICOM Summit in Ottawa, said Guyana will be partnering with Canada to develop a framework to train young people in the field of technology.

He said the initiative would lead to the creation of 3,000 innovative jobs in the field of technology.

Guyana has also agreed to transform the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) into the IICA-Guyana Centre of Excellence for studies in the field of Agriculture with focus on innovation and resilience.  

“Our young people from CARICOM will be going to the regional headquarters of IICA to be trained in their innovation centre and their centre of excellence to come back here in Guyana. But, why? Why are we sending them to train? IIAC and the Government of Guyana have agreed that we will develop a centre of excellence for our young people in the field of agriculture here in Guyana,” President Ali explained.

According to President Ali, the agreement to establish the Centre for Excellence here was reached during his recent visit to Costa Rica. It was also agreed that a regional situation room would be set up here to provide real time data to farmers in Guyana and across the region.

“In the coming months, with IICA, we will be setting up here in Guyana a situation room that will give real time data. It will be the development of a CARICOM Situation Room that will give real time data to our farmers to allow evidence-based decision making and more proactive planning in terms of our development,” the President explained.

Still on innovation, President Ali said his government will be working with ExxonMobil Guyana and the Greater Guyana Initiative to launch a US$4.5M Agri-Innovation Project in Regions 2, 5 and 10.

The project will be launched in the coming days, and according to President Ali, is it expected that 35% of the beneficiaries will be women.

President Ali said the new initiatives will complement existing programmes such as the GOAL Scholarship Programme, which has attracted 20,000 Guyanese, and the Agriculture and Innovative Entrepreneurship Programme that was designed to empower young people through job creation in the agriculture sector.

The Agri Expo runs for the entire weekend at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. It has brought together all of the key players in the local agriculture sector.

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