Guyana signs trade agreement with T&T

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Guyana has signed a trade accord with Trinidad and Tobago to pave the way for more of its agro-commodities to gain entry to the twin-island republic.

The deal was signed after four years of negotiations, as Guyana sought to increase its fresh agriculture and forest products exports to the oil-rich republic.

The Guyana/Trinidad and Tobago Fresh Agricultural Produce and Forest Products Trade Protocol outlines the terms and conditions relating to commercial shipments of defined agro-products from Guyana to Trinidad. The terms and conditions address key areas such as packaging and packaging facilities, product quality, storage, inspection and certification, exporter/importer responsibilities, pesticide management and farm inspection.

“The finalization of the Trade Protocol comes in wake of Guyana’s increasing ability to export larger volumes of agriculture and forestry products to the region and ongoing interventions guided by Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, to modernize and diversify the sector,” a government statement said.

“The ongoing market-led Grow More Food campaign has also resulted in a marked increase in food production targeting local, regional and international markets for which demand of specific agro-products exists.”

The signing of the Trade Protocol between the two countries resulted from discussions which began in 2006. Since then, several visits have been made to Guyana by Trinidadian agriculture officials, the most recent in February 2009 when four officials from the twin-island republic inspected several farms.

“With the continued increase in demand for food, Guyana, through the Ministry of Agriculture, will continue to increase exports to new and existing markets as the country repositions itself to become once again the bread basket of the Caribbean,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Agriculture has encouraged farmers and exporters to utilize the opportunity to export to the Trinidadian market.

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