Govt working to advance agricultural projects in Buxton – Pres Ali

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
President Dr Irfaan Ali with the young graduates from the first ever computer training programme at the Buxton- Friendship Museum, Archives & Culture Centre

…work to be done with farmers, youths; jobs in STEM also in the pipeline

President Dr Irfaan Ali, who was invited to a ceremony to mark the fourth anniversary of the Buxton-Friendship Museum, Archives & Culture Centre (MA&CC) on Saturday, has assured the community that work continues behind the scenes to bring economic empowerment and agricultural projects to Buxton.

According to the President, they are working on a number of initiatives that will not only bring economic empowerment, but improve the livelihoods of residents. This is particularly in the agricultural sector, with President Ali saying that he has tasked Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha with working alongside residents.

“Right now, as I speak to you, we’re working on a number of initiatives, since the last meeting here, to bring economic empowerment, improve livelihood. I’ve already tasked the Minister of Agriculture. He has outlined a clear path on developing the farm to market road, on developing the drainage canal.”

“And I said to him, we must work to make Buxton a bread basket of food production. We must include the young people. I challenged him, let’s get the farmers to come together. Let’s get this body to bring the farmers together and deploy the land that you have here collectively, so that we can advance the potential of that land into opportunities in agriculture,” the President also said.

According to him, his Government has an open-door policy and is ready to work with everyone when it comes to economic empowerment. He also went on to describe the work his Government is doing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“I’m saying, you are knocking at open doors. We are ready to work with you in advancing a project like this. These are the things that will advance the empowerment. I’m very happy we have all these young people graduating in technology. But how do we advance the empowerment? How do we link that to job creation?”

President Ali addressing the gathering on Saturday

“I’ll tell you how. Right now, I’m working with an African Guyanese who did exceptionally well at Amazon. And what is she doing for us? She’s developing a tech platform in which we can certify young Guyanese to work at Amazon in tech fields. Jobs coming to you. And we’re going to invest in that programme. We’re now working out the modalities of that programme. And who’s it developing? The young African Guyanese,” the President said.

President Ali also told the first graduates of the Buxton-Friendship Museum, Archives and Culture Centre computer programme that their achievements are linked to job creation.

The President also pointed to the importance of history and culture in shaping the understanding that “we are all part of the family of humanity.”

Following the ceremony, President Ali and the delegation joined guests for a walkthrough of the museum and a viewing of the exhibits. Several Cabinet Ministers joined President Ali in celebrating with the community, including Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Hugh Todd, Tourism, Industry and Commerce Minister Oneidge Walrond, Natural Resources Minister Vickram Bharrat and representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Last month, Prime Minister, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips had led a massive ministerial outreach to the community of Buxton, East Coast Demerara, taking a new course of development and opportunities to residents.

The outreach saw scores of persons showing up, as Government Ministers tended to age-old issues, while announcing solutions and new interventions on the spot. The Cabinet team included Public Works Minister Juan Edghill, Attorney General Anil Nandlall; Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony; Sports Minister Charles Ramson, Housing Minster Collin Croal, Tourism Minister Oneidge Walrond, Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall and Minister at the Office of the President Kwame Mc Coy.

While a sprinkling of persons chose to protest on the streets, the Prime Minister lauded the gathering for choosing development of the community, and not falling prey to divisive persuasions.

He had underscored that the Government has an inclusive people-centred plan and Guyana is now positioned at a greater advantage with the oil resources to fulfil the needs of Buxton and other communities.