President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that loans to poultry farmers from commercial banks will now be reduced by three per cent, an initiative aimed at further developing the industry and advancing Guyana’s food security agenda.
The Head of State made the announcement while delivering remarks at a meeting with poultry farmers at State House on Saturday.
President Ali explained that following weeks of discussions with Citizens Bank, Republic Bank, Demerara Bank and GBTI, an agreement was reached to reduce the interest rate on loans to the poultry industry from eight to five per cent.
“That is a three per cent reduction in your interest rate. Those persons who have existing loans at these facilities, this new interest rate will be reflected in the new month. And for those who want to acquire new capital, this is a new interest rate. This is a tremendous moment for the poultry sector this morning.”
The President explained that this reduction directly results from the government’s move to remove corporate income tax from interest income earned by commercial banks on loans granted to the poultry sector.
He said that the move to lower the interest rate on loans to farmers in the poultry industry is another measure by his government to promote food production, increase food supply and reduce the costs of essential food items for consumers.
President Ali’s announcement on Saturday comes on the heels of multiple stakeholder meetings with poultry farmers from across the country.
Those meetings resulted in the recently concluded National Poultry Symposium at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCA), where a number of initiatives aimed at improving and expanding the industry were announced.
Among those initiatives were strengthening the national poultry association, allocating 25,000 acres of land for the production of rice as an input to feed, and procuring vaccines for baby chicks that will reduce the cost per chick by $6.
Other plans included equipping the Guyana Live Stock Development Authority’s (GLDA’s) nutrition laboratory, reducing the transport cost for live birds and feed to regions One, Two and Seven and constructing an additional 20,000 chicks per week hatchery.
“Following many requests and engagement with farmers, the government has already laid out a very comprehensive strategy in the short, medium, and long term. These interventions are needed to ensure that our industry remains vibrant and competitive.”
In addition to measures and initiatives implemented to improve the poultry sector, President Ali also reminded of the number of other policies his government has implemented to improve the entire agriculture sector.