PM warns of further food supply disruptions

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley is warning of further food supply disruptions next year due to droughts in North America, China and other parts of the world.

Addressing the in-person and virtual audience attending the Agricultural Investment Forum and Expo II at Queen’s Park Savannah, Trinidad on Friday, Mottley stressed that a revamp of plans beyond the medium term was imperative.

“So that means our plans cannot just be medium-term plans to replace animal feed, which we need to do, as Guyana is planning to do under the distinguished leadership of my brother, the president. [Dr. Irfaan] Ali by 2025, with ramping up of corn and soybean production,” she said.

Guests attending the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo. (PMO Barbados)

Mottley continued, “We don’t have the luxury of that. Because we have a population that feels the vagaries and the negative consequences of galloping inflation. But inflation will also reinforce the fact that lack of access is going to exist because of these droughts.

Given this expectation, Mottley reiterated the urgency for regional farmers to grow six- and twelve-week crops and suggested they also focus on raising six-week cattle to meet the needs of the region. .

“None of us can avoid the reality that our people have to eat. And the reality is that there are things we can do and have done in the past to ensure our survival.

And here we are again. Whether it’s rabbits or chickens, whether it’s fishing, whether it’s new forays like we’re doing in Barbados into aquaculture, we have a responsibility to act urgent today,” Mottley said.

Since hosting the Guyana Forum, the Prime Minister shared that regional leaders have been asked to formulate a funding framework. She added that Barbados had worked diligently with financiers as well as regional and international organizations to achieve this.

“We have written to each Minister of Agriculture asking for the projects. Some have already started to arrive and they will be loaded onto the electronic dashboard that will be available for heads today. Also on that dashboard is CARDI’s training support…” Mottley pointed out.

Mottley also reiterated the importance of addressing the issue of air and sea transport, noting that regional leaders were working on these areas, which she stressed was a work in progress.

The Expo, which ends on Sunday, is themed: Transforming agriculture through innovation and investment.