Way cleared for increased Brazil-Guyana trade

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday April 30, 2010 – Agricultural trade between Guyana and Brazil is soon to take off with the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the area of phytosanitary security for agricultural produce.

The deal was signed during the CARICOM/ Brazil Summit this week. 

The MOU is crafted to promote bilateral communication and co-operation in the phytosanitary area, especially as it refers to products of vegetal origin and seeks to protect human, animal and vegetal health.

Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud who was part of the Guyana delegation headed by President Bharrat Jagdeo, highlighted that there is an existing partial scope agreement that allows trade between the two countries. He further indicated that for trade to occur it is necessary for a number of arrangements to be in place which includes sanitary and phytosanitary areas. 

“The MOU will enable both parties to conclude outstanding matters, so that trade can begin,” Minister Persaud said.

Guyana will now be able to increase and expedite formal agricultural trade with Brazil with regards to the country’s long-term plans for development of Rupununi, Region 9 as a major area for food production with rice, soya and corn being primary products for trade. 

Other products like rice, sugar, fruits and vegetables will also be traded between the two countries. 

“This will open-up greater possibilities given the fact that we have several investors who are about to commence activities within that region, but for their activities and investments to succeed they would require some framework that will allow them access into the Brazilian market,” Minister Persaud said.

Because of Guyana’s soil suitability for cultivation, a European company based in Brazil, Rice Tech will be investing in Region 9 where its operations will be focused on hybrid seed for rice farmers in Brazil and other countries. 

Persaud said the recently-signed MOU will allow that company to commence operations. He said his ministry has already identified the area and concluded an interim investment with the company.