Education, agriculture will transform regional development – President
President David Granger has said that investments in education coupled with development and emphasis on the agricultural sector will play a leading role in the transformation of the Region and the country.President David Granger shares a light moment with these exhibitors at the Lusignan Ground at the Region Four Regional Agricultural and Commercial ExhibitionThe President made the comment while speaking at the opening of the three-day Regional Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition (RACE) at the Lusignan Community Centre Ground. At the event he also commissioned two new school buses under the “Boats, Buses, Bicycles plus Books and Breakfast” (Five Bs) Programme. He said that the buses would serve the schoolchildren of the East Coast and East Bank of Demerara and were part of the Government’s continuous effort to ensure that there was access to education for all the children of Guyana.According to the President, more innovative approaches through education must be taken to enhance and highlight Guyana’s agricultural potential and this is where investment in education and technology transfer is important. President Granger noted that Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), as Guyana’s strongest administrative region, was expected to play a pivotal role in driving this ‘green’ agenda. “We must share and the more developed regions must assist the least developed regions. As you have heard before, Demerara-Mahaica is the most developed – smallest in size but strongest economy and at the same time, much of the economic potential and infrastructure are all located in Region Four…Demerara-Mahaica is the bellwether – it knows the way, it shows the way, it goes the way. The Region’s development, in this regard, must be aligned with Guyana’s green trajectory of development, which has, as one of its central objectives, the reduction in economic disparities between the hinterland and the coastland,” he was quoted by the Ministry of the Presidency as saying.He noted that the agricultural and commercial exhibition was geared towards showcasing and promoting local businesses, particularly those which are involved in agro-processing. It is also expected to connect producers and consumers while improving and expanding trade opportunities within the Region. President Granger said that the initiative would also help to empower young and upcoming entrepreneurs, something his Government was passionate about. The Head of State said it was his hope that RACEs could help to highlight the people’s potential to produce and to expose their products for purchase at home and abroad, and provide markets for farmers, traders and manufacturers.More importantly, he said that exhibitions such as these also emphasise the importance of regional stakeholders not only the Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) and the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) but the Private Sector. To this end, the President proposed that the Region developed a Regional Economic Action Plan (REAP) to ensure that its agricultural potential was transformed into reality.Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, in his remarks, said that agriculture was one of the pillars earmarked to forge the path for sustainable development for the Caribbean and Guyana. He noted that not only was it of fundamental significance to ensure food and nutrition security, but it also represented a viable pillar on which to promote economic development for the country and provide a means for citizens to generate wealth and ensure a sustainable developmental trajectory.