Guyana’s non-traditional crops can penetrate UK market
Direct air service link critical
Guyana Chronicle
July 18, 2004

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GUYANA’s non-traditional crops and agricultural produce could access the lucrative UK market if a direct air service link is established between the two countries.
Minister of Fisheries, Crops and Livestock and acting Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow Sawh, who recently returned from the Royal Agricultural Show in Warwickshire, England, at a press conference last Friday said that during his stay there, he discussed and explored the possibility of Guyana’s non-traditional crops entering the UK market. He said he found that there were many opportunities, but the “biggest stumbling block” is the absence of a direct air service.

Elaborating on the need for a direct air service, Sawh explained that perishables need to be transported to their destinations with minimum delay so as to ensure their quality is of the high standard that the UK market demands.

Asked about how soon a direct air link can be established, the minister replied that the airline services are in private hands. Consideration would be given to issues of economy, profitability and sustainability. Therefore, a time-frame could not be set for this. However, he assured that efforts would soon be channelled in this direction.

Alluding to the impressiveness of the Royal Agricultural Show, Sawh said that Guyana could learn tremendously from the British agricultural experience, and in this regard indicated that a protocol would soon be concluded to facilitate Guyana tapping into the British agricultural resources and facilities.

He said he was particularly impressed with the technology pertaining to grain production and organic agriculture.

Another area of cooperation being mooted is an exchange programme between the Royal Agricultural College, which is among the premier agricultural institutions in Britain, and the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA).

Also, Sawh disclosed that a request has been made to Duchess Limited - the firm that processes organic chocolates for Prince Charles - to enter into an arrangement for the supply of organic ginger by Guyana. The company is now considering the request. Guyana already exports organic cocoa to the UK for making organic chocolates. It is grown by the Mabaruma/Hosororo Organic Cocoa Growers Association in Region one (Barima/Waini).

During his stay in Britain, the minister also met with senior government functionaries and representatives of the European Union outlining Guyana’s position on the recent proposal to reduce sugar prices and the harsh adverse effects it would have on the national economy and the living standards of Guyanese.

He held a public meeting as well with members of the Guyanese community in London updating on recent developments in Guyana.