New York, USA—(September 23, 2021) His Excellency Dr Irfaan Ali this afternoon told the United Nations Food Systems Summit (FSS) that Guyana is committed to ensuring that there is sustainable and equitable transformation to its food production system.
The President, through a video-recorded message to the Summit, said that Guyana’s transformation efforts are rooted in the country’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda.
“We are also wedded to the goals of ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for everyone, the reduction of on-farm and post-harvest waste and loss and the implementation of a circular food economy.”
The President said that the country is also focused on de-risking the agriculture sector, implementing the use of innovative technologies, developing climate-smart practices, and increasing investments in disaster preparedness and response.
In addition, President Ali said that his Government is also promoting greater food security by investing in research and development, specifically in the development of climate-resilient crops and varieties. Efforts are also in place to diversify agricultural production and catalyse agro-processing, while investments will be made to agricultural-supportive infrastructures such as drainage and irrigation, farm-to-market roads and packaging facilities.
President Ali also noted that Guyana would seek to consolidate its National School Feeding Programme with nourishing meals.
“We are strengthening the linkages and synergies between consumers and food producers, so as to deliver safe, healthy and nutritious school meals. This will also help provide small farmers with a guaranteed market for a portion of their produce.
The President also highlighted the connection between climate change and food security and pointed to the need for finances for mitigation and adaptation purposes. He said that ensuring the viability of the food system is central to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“As part of our efforts to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs in the Decade of Action for delivery of the SDGs, this year’s focus on food will play no small part in the global recovery efforts.”
The President further explained that the reversal of development gains, the frequency of extreme weather and economic contraction are some of the daunting challenges confronting both the developed and developing countries and that the only difference lies in the nations’ capabilities to respond to the challenges.
“This Summit can help narrow these gaps. It also presents an opportunity to contribute to efforts to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, address the climate crisis, and promote resilient and sustainable futures. By focusing on solutions and transformative actions, we are collectively laying a good foundation to sustain momentum on food security.”