President Dr Irfaan Ali said that Brazilian investors from the neighbouring State of Roraima are interested in being integrated into CARICOM’s vision of reducing its food import bill by 25% by 2025.
The Head of State made this announcement during a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Dr Keith Rowley, at State House today.
As part of this integration, the President said, CARICOM has committed to ensuring that the State of Roraima is represented on the Region’s Agriculture Ministerial Task Force. This was after President Ali led a delegation of the visiting CARICOM Heads and other Caribbean Government Officials to the Santa Fe farm in the North Rupununi where they had a Caribbean-Roraima Investors Luncheon with a number of Brazilian investors.
“They have offered their technology, they have offered their investment. They have offered a partnership and they offer the commitment. In exchange, we have committed to taking to the Heads a proposal of the State of Roraima to be part of the Ministerial Task Force on Agriculture from CARICOM. We have invited them to be part of the forum in Trinidad and Tobago in August and they are going to be part of that forum.”
INTEGRATED INTO CARICOM’S VISION
President Ali said that he spoke to the Secretary of Agriculture of the State of Roraima, Marlon Buss, who indicated that they are looking to be integrated into CARICOM’S vision.
“They want to be integrated not only from a supply perspective, but from a productive perspective. They want to be integrated into this vision of CARICOM. They want to be part of this and I think it is an excellent opportunity for a win-win.”
On Saturday, President Ali told the investors that CARICOM knows that it has to take action and has committed to taking action to ensuring food security in the region.
He said that CARICOM is not looking for a win for one country, but for all countries that are willing to participate.
BRIDGING BRAZIL AND CARICOM
President Ali also noted that Guyana is willing to be the bridge for the State of Roraima to work with CARICOM.
Prime Minister Rowley, during Saturday’s Rupununi visit, had highlighted Guyana’s importance in connecting the State of Roraima to the wider Caribbean.
“Guyana is the springboard for the change that we are required to make, and Guyana has the support of CARICOM, particularly Trinidad and Tobago—its nearest neighbour in CARICOM.”
He said that as CARICOM increases its production using the technology and goodwill from Brazil, the Region will be able to answer the questions it has been asking itself. “What can we do to improve our food supply? What can we do to increase our production? And who can we turn to work with? I feel we have found our answers for that business model.”
During the visit, President Ali and Prime Minister Rowley were also joined by the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, the Honourable Gaston Browne; Premier of Montserrat, the Honourable Joseph Farrell and other Regional officials.