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The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) says Guyana’s President, Irfaan Ali, will be the first recipient of its award for his contribution to food security and sustainable development.
“IICA decided to present this award in recognition of President Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s leadership in agricultural transformation, food security and support for building resilient economies in a sustainable manner in Guyana and the Caribbean,” IICA said in a statement.
“The President’s support and commitment to public agendas related to issues such as regional integration, rural connectivity, social inclusion in the countryside and gender equality, all of which are central areas of IICA’s work, were also considered for the presentation of this Award.”
IICA said that since being elected as head of state, Ali has exercised his leadership as a regional leader in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Quasi-Cabinet, responsible for agriculture and rural development, with a mandate to advance the regional food security agenda.
“President Ali has launched numerous initiatives focused on ensuring that sustainable agriculture remains a fundamental pillar for national and regional development.
“In Guyana, the most prominent initiatives include the Agriculture Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (AEIP) targeting youth to become agribusiness owners; agricultural processing and value addition; the revival and expansion of the aquaculture industry; the advancement of the livestock industry and the program for self-sufficiency in livestock feed with the production of corn and soybeans; updating legislation to increase investment and trade; large infrastructure projects for roads, drainage and irrigation.”
IICA said that Guyana’s leadership in low carbon development has been strengthened under Ali’s leadership, with the country being the first to be awarded TREES credits. It said this innovative system of carbon credits is designed specifically for voluntary and compliant carbon markets to successfully prevent forest loss and degradation, a process known as jurisdictional REDD+.
“At the regional level, President Ali’s vision is reflected in actions to transform agriculture and sustainable development. Calling for deliberate action to bring to life the regional goal of reducing the Caribbean’s US$6 billion food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, these measures have been adopted by CARICOM leaders.
“In addition, President Ali has successfully advocated for the creation of the CARICOM Ad Hoc Ministerial Task Force (MTF) on Food Production and Food Security for CARICOM.”
The Guyana-Barbados Food Terminal Regional Food Hub is also being developed along with various initiatives to address logistics and transportation.
President Ali will receive the award during IICA’s 43rd regular meeting in Costa Rica on July 19. (Loop News)