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During day two of the consideration of estimates and expenditure for Budget 2023, the Ministry of Agriculture’s $33.2 billion budget was passed. To date, this is the largest budgeted allocation for the ministry as the government continues its efforts to develop the sector.
While defending the budget and responding to questions posed by members of the Opposition, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha disclosed that construction of the state-of-the-art abattoir should be completed before the end of the year.
Minister Mustapha explained that given Guyana’s livestock development and beef production plans, the establishment of such a facility remains a top priority.
As it relates to progress made thus far, the minister noted that soon after the contract was signed, the contractor commenced mobilisation. He further stated that the periphery works have already been done at the site that was catered for in previous budgets.
The minister said government plans to enhance the natural sea defense at Danzig in Region Five under the Mangrove Restoration programme at a cost of $104 million. These works, he added, are expected to be completed in approximately 12 months.
Additionally, a sum of $445.2 million was approved to further expand the government’s brackish water shrimp project.
According to the minister “Any fish farmer or brackish water shrimp farmer who needs help will be able to get help under this programme.”
He said there were about 120 farmers who were producing about 10,000 kilograms of shrimp monthly and the government met with them and decided to help them to enhance their ponds.
“We did infrastructural work and we were able to move brackish water shrimp production, although we did not complete the entire project; we are about 80% of the project, from 10,000 kilograms monthly to 83,000 kilograms by the end of December. When this project is complete, we anticipate production will be 120,000 kilograms monthly.”