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Guyana Seeks to Expand Aquaculture

14 March 2013

GUYANA - The Ministry of Agriculture is seeking to develop the necessary framework for Guyana to tap into the growing trade in aquaculture products by putting regulations in place to meet the export standards, and getting farmers on-board.

Minister of Agriculture Dr Leslie Ramsammy met with farmers involved in aqua-farming at the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) to listen to recommendations for moving forward the industry and developing instead a “high yielding aquaculture industry in Guyana that can enter the Caribbean, North America and European market," reports Caribbean News Now.

“Clearly we have the potential for a very successful fishing industry, we have the potential for fishing to become more significant in the agriculture production of our country, and in contributing to overall development and the overall GDP of Guyana, but for one reason or another our development has not been as rapid as we would have preferred,” he said.

Dr Ramsammy explained that the leading producers of aquaculture are now using a lot of their own products internally, but if production is increased Guyana can seek to get a foot hold in the export market.

Regulatory framework

In working to ensuring Guyana adheres to international guidelines for export of aquaculture products, the Ministry of Agriculture is to put a number of regulatory measures in place, Dr Ramsammy said.

“We are about to approve the national policy for inland fishing and aquaculture and at present we are finalising the fishery product regulation; the marine fishing regulation and the aquaculture regulation.

“Unless we develop and produce our product, within this regulatory framework, we will not have an export market period, and indeed if new food regulation of the US, which is also being mimicked in Canada, and Europe will see further non-tariff barrier to our trade.

"We can complain that they are unfair, or we can do the only thing we can which is to meet those standards, because I can guarantee you it will not change the regulation in North America and Europe,” Dr Ramsammy added.

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