Guyana and Suriname agriculture to benefit from Indonesia/Islamic Bank agreement

Guyana and Suriname agriculture to benefit from Indonesia/Islamic Bank agreement

  – By Ray Chickrie – Caribbean News Now contributor

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Dr Bambang Brodjonegoro, minister of national development planning of Indonesia, and Dr Bandar Hajjar, president of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Jeddah to promote partnership between the bank and Indonesia in the exchange of experiences as a platform of development cooperation among the bank’s member countries. Guyana and Suriname will benefit from this agreement.      

According to the MOU, areas of exchange of experiences include agriculture, fisheries, health and population, vocational and technical education and training, pharmacy, planning and budgeting, micro-finance, transportation, technology, industry, disaster risk reduction and mitigation and Islamic finance. Thus, both Guyana and Suriname can access technology and support in those areas.

As a result, Indonesia is enhancing the exchange of technology with Suriname, and a project is being developed between the two countries in the field of artificial insemination of livestock.

The government of Indonesia will finance part of these projects in Guyana, Suriname and elsewhere. According to the Indonesian minister, his government is committed to annually allocate funds for projects of exchange of knowledge among member states.

Singosari National Artificial Insemination Centre (SNAIC) is the leading centre in Indonesia for livestock breeding, and has helped improve the productivity and genetic quality of livestock in the country. SNAIC has been both producing and distributing high-quality frozen semen. It has helped farmers increase the number of cattle and their productivity with a resultant boost to their income.

In the rice sector, Guyana will benefit soon also from a cooperation agreement between Malaysia and the Islamic Bank. This “reverse linkage” south/south cooperation is now being implemented in Suriname, and it will include larger scale agriculture to include coconut, pineapple cultivation, processing and export.

According to a release from the Guyana ministry of agriculture, “Coming on stream shortly, the government will partner with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), through the Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to update the expertise and technology in rice production to increase productivity per unit area.

“This will be made possible through a reverse linkage project to the tune of US$863,000. MARDI will introduce innovative rice varieties more resilient and will significantly increase rice yields per unit.”

In the meantime, the much talked about Suriname/Indonesia Joint Commission is yet to meet and the visit of the Indonesian foreign minister to Suriname is yet to materialize. In addition, Suriname hasn’t named an ambassador to Jakarta to the dismay of many, considering the fraternal bond between the two countries.

Suriname’s alternate governor to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Dr Anwar Lall Mohamed, eloquently expressed the growing ties between Guyana, Suriname, Indonesia and Malaysia, two Far East economic powerhouses.

“Our two countries in the Americas are the only ones in the Western Hemisphere that are benefiting from the knowledge, skills and experience of the Asian members countries,” he noted.

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