- as Pres Ali given tour of Costa Rican coffee production, IICA HQ
Costa Rica, which is currently hosting an official visit from President Dr. Irfaan Ali and his delegation, is expected to provide technical support to Guyana as it looks to grow its coffee industry and reach regional standards of quality and production.
This was one of several issues that President Ali discussed while in Costa Rica. The President also used the occasion to tour the Coffee Institute of Costa Rica (ICAFE) in San José, where he was given a front-row seat to the various processes that go into producing coffee blends, from cultivation to mixing.
“During his engagement with officials there, President Ali spoke of efforts to revitalise the local coffee industry and said that Guyana will look to Costa Rica for support, especially through technical expertise,” a statement from the Office of the President said.
The government had also announced earlier this year that it would be partnering with both Brazil and India to establish nurseries across the country to revitalise the local coffee industry. Around the same time, the Government had also announced plans to attract investors to enhance the production of a number of high-value products in the Pomeroon region, including coffee.
Back in August 2022, it was reported that the Agriculture Ministry, in collaboration with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), was set to restart coffee cultivation in the Pomeroon Region Two area. Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha had explained that the goal was to supply the local coffee market within three years.
In fact, IICA is the very reason President Ali travelled to Costa Rica, where he flew to receive an award from the institute for his leadership in agricultural transformation, food security, and support for building resilient economies in a sustainable manner in Guyana and the Caribbean.
President Ali was also given a guided tour of the IICA Headquarters facilities in Costa Rica, where he witnessed innovative uses of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) when it is used for the agriculture sector to advance work and innovate technology.
Meanwhile, President Ali used the opportunity to invite the agency to participate in the upcoming Agri Investment Forum and Expo, slated for October 20 to 22. IICA’s Director General Manuel Otero gave President Ali the agency’s commitment to working with Guyana and the Caribbean region to elevate agriculture and food production.
The 2023 Agri Investment Forum and Expo is slated to be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. It will be celebrated under the theme “Achieving Vision 25 by 2025.” The expo is expected to see over 100 exhibitors, both local and international, showcasing their various agricultural products, equipment, and other services.
It is also expected that there will be strong participation from fellow Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States and organizations, foreign countries, and international agricultural organizations.
The upcoming 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) was also a topic of discussion when President Ali met with Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves Robles at the Presidential Palace in San José.
During the meeting, they discussed their mutual interest in tourism, energy security, and food security. Further, President Ali expressed his government’s commitment to collaborate with Costa Rica to enhance Guyana’s eco-tourism industry.
“Dr Ali also plans to work closely with President Robles on forests, environmental conservation and climate issues at COP 28,” the release from the Office of the President laid out.
To be held from November 30 to December 12, COP28 will provide a platform for world leaders, ministers and negotiators to develop solutions to address climate change. At the previous COP27, which was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in December of last year, one outcome was the setting up of a climate fund for poorer and more vulnerable countries, which would constitute “loss and damage” funding.