More aid for Guyana farmers

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, July 31, 2008 – Guyana has signed an agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that which will help farmers diversify their agricultural production.

The deal signed by Guyana’s Ambassador to Brussels, Patrick Ignatius Gomes, and IFAD’s President, Lennart Bage at the Fund’s headquarters in Rome, will see government contributing US$850,000 while the project’s participants will provide an additional US$320,000.

Under the project, small farmers will be assisted in finding alternative sources of income in non-traditional agricultural products such as root crops, vegetables, tropical fruits and spices and livestock products.

“Some 5,200 poor rural households…will benefit from better access to financial and other capital services, along with training in specific areas of enterprise development, marketing and organisational and social development,” a release from the agriculture ministry noted.

It added that IFAD has so far financed three rural development and poverty eradication projects in Guyana for a total commitment of US $22.2 million.

IFAD was created 30 years ago to tackle rural poverty. It is a specialised United Nations agency which, since 1978, has invested over US$10 billion in low interest loans and grants that have assisted over 300 million poor rural men and women to increase their incomes.