May 20, 2022 – Georgetown, Guyana – The Government of Guyana and the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed two important agreements today.
The Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, Minister of Agriculture in Guyana signed the first document; the
Country Programme Framework (CPF) which is an agreement between the Cooperative
Republic of Guyana and FAO that sets out the priority areas of work in which the two partners
will engage during the period 2022 – 2026. Through the CPF, FAO’s Strategic Framework is
translated into actions that contribute to the realization of the national development agenda.
This document was developed in close collaboration with the Government and stakeholders.
The CPF is also aligned with the UN Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation
Framework MSDCF (2022-2026), the vehicle for defining the UN’s contribution and
commitment to supporting national efforts to achieve economic, social, and environmental
targets related to international and regional aspirations and the Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). It also articulates FAO’s contribution to the MSDCF and describes how FAO will
leverage its comparative advantage to foster synergies and increase effective collaboration
efforts with other UN agencies.
Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while offering remarks said technical assistance from the FAO will
play an integral role in Guyana’s efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals agenda
and Vision 25 by 2025.
“This shows our priority areas that we, as a government and particularly as a ministry, are
working to develop with assistance from the FAO. When we had the problem with the low
catches, we engaged the FAO to assist with conducting a study to determine the reasons our
fisherfolk were having low catches. That is one aspect of the corporation that Guyana has been
engaged with the FAO on. The FAO Country Programme Framework will span from 2022 to
2026 and will allow for cooperation in other priority areas,” Minister Mustapha said.
Minister Mustapha explained that the transformation of sustainable agriculture’s food systems;
resilient value chains; agricultural community-based disaster risk management; ICT in
agriculture; and agriculture de-risking as thematic areas for FAO’s intervention underscoring
the fact that those areas are well aligned with the CARICOM Agri-food system agenda which is
being implemented by addressing the policies that will drive development in those thematic
areas some of the priority areas identified for collaboration with the FAO.
The development and implementation of all programmatic interventions of this FAO Country
Programme Framework will be guided by accelerators such as technology, innovation, data, and
complements which include governance, human capital, and institutions.
While giving attention to cross-cutting themes such as gender and youth, Hon. Hugh Todd,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations signed the second agreement which is
the Memorandum of Responsibilities (MOR) for hosting the 38th FAO Regional Conference for
Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC 38). This document sets out the respective
responsibilities to be assumed by the Government of The Co‑operative Republic of Guyana on
the priority areas of support. Signing for FAO is Dr. Julio Berdegue, Assistant Deputy-Director
for Latin America and the Caribbean who is in Guyana for the Agri-Investment Forum and Expo.
The Memorandum of Responsibilities (MOR) for hosting the 38th FAO Regional Conference for
Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC 38) sets out the respective responsibilities to be
assumed by the Government of The Co‑operative Republic of Guyana on the priority areas of
support. The Conference will be held in Georgetown during the first half of 2024, at a date to be
decided by FAO. Guyana was selected after a unanimous endorsement to host the conference
from all 33 member states present at LARC 37 which was held in Ecuador from March 28 to
April 1, 2022. The Conference is an important forum, where member states meet, identify, and
discuss the FAO work programme and provide guidance on the effective implementation of the
FAO Strategic Framework in line with the regional priorities of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Dr. Berdegué said the agreements represent FAO’s commitment to support the priorities of the
Government of Guyana as well as a formalization of a decision made by 33 countries in Latin
America and the Caribbean to host the upcoming FAO Regional Conference scheduled for 2024
in Georgetown, Guyana. “We’ve been working in this country for many, many years and will
continue to be here as long as the people of Guyana believe that we have something to offer. In
2024, we will be celebrating or commemorating 20 years of the launching of the Jagdeo’s
Initiative. It’s been 20 years since Guyana has been leading efforts for food security and
revitalization of agriculture in this part of the world. This meeting that we’re having confirms
that Guyana is the place to do that. No other country in the Americas is conducting a
transformation of its agri-food systems to the extent, with the dynamism and to the level of
political support that I’ve seen here in Guyana”, Dr. Berdegué said.