BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – To further its mission to promote sustainable agriculture and enhance food production, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a grant of USD280,906 to implement a food traceability system designed to boost the export of leafy greens and pineapples in Guyana.
The pilot will lay the foundation for a traceability system throughout the agro-food value chain while collecting insights on the system’s impact and providing solutions to mitigate risks.
CDB entered the partnership with the government of Guyana (GOGY) because of the vital role agriculture plays in driving economic expansion, generating employment opportunities and fostering food security at both the local and regional levels.
CDB’s head (Ag), private sector division, Lisa Harding, noted that “food traceability is becoming a requirement for access to regional and international markets and many countries, including emerging economies, have put traceability systems in place.”
“Food traceability also represents one of those areas in which critical investment is required as it is an essential element of food safety,” she added.
The anticipated upturn in food production and subsequent increase in the consumption of agro-processed products locally and regionally means CDB’s assistance will help bolster Guyana’s agricultural production processes, cultivate enhanced customer loyalty, and consumer confidence and increase that country’s overall competitiveness in the international market.
Highlighting the significance of a traceability system in Guyana, Martin Baptiste, CDB’s division chief, social sector, said: “The project holds considerable importance for GOGY in its efforts to enhance the national food safety system, in line with CARICOM’s goal of reducing the regional import expenses by 25 percent by 2025. It is also critical, as Guyana, which is often referred to as the food basket of the Caribbean, is central to policy initiatives which serve to strengthen food security within the region.”
The collaboration with GOGY furthers CDB’s drive to increase production resilience and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in its borrowing member countries. Additionally, the programme is expected to contribute to the region’s agricultural development and food security objectives.