Guyana Second Cyle CAP SigningOn Wednesday 14 December 2016 the Chief Executive Officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) Mr. Rodinald Soomer and Minister of Finance of Guyana Mr. Winston Jordan signed Guyana's second financing agreement for a blended loan facility with the CDF valued at US$10,432,263 dollars.The Government of Guyana will contribute an additional US$2.0 million to the CDF Country Assistance Programme (CAP) to which this concessional funding will be applied. This country programme, which is the first in the CDF's second cycle operations, is targeted to provide direct support to 175 farmers in 4 very economically challenged communities with notably high levels of youth and female unemployment.

These areas have had a history of agricultural production which had become marginal over time as farmlands had been left uncultivated, under-cultivated and underdeveloped due to inadequate access and poor drainage and irrigation. The CDF facility will therefore support drainage and irrigation infrastructure which will enable farmers to reclaim an initial 2,500 acres of abandoned land and bring it back into cultivation. The CAP will also allow for the purchase of farming equipment, finance land clearing and provide technical support to targeted farmers. The resulting increase in production will provide opportunities for Guyana to expand agricultural exports, both primary and value-added, to the CARICOM market, in addition to increasing domestic sales. The CEO observed that he had been advised that buyers from CARICOM were already in Guyana to purchase produce from areas which had benefited from the Guyana first cycle CAP, which was also focused on infrastructure (access roads) in agriculture regions.

He remarked that "It is always gratifying to sign agreements like the one we are executing today as that action provides tangible evidence of the value and validation of the relevance of CARICOM integration to Member countries - vitally needed concessionary financial resources that redound to the benefit of ordinary citizens."

The CDF's intervention was made possible by virtue of Guyana making its agreed contribution of US$3,807,263 (approximately G$786.3 Million) to the CDF, which allowed it to effectively obtain US$2.74 for every US$1.0 contributed."

The CDF was established under Article 158 of the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas signed in January 2001. The Agreement Relating to the Operations of the Fund was signed in July 2008 and the CDF began operating in August 2009. The purpose of the CDF is to provide technical and financial assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors, in particular to: assist Member States in reducing disparities; promote convergence and compensate for or pre-empt any negative impact or dislocation that may arise from the implementation of the CSME. During the first subscription cycle, which closed at the end of 2015, the CDF approved financing of US$50.9 million to eight beneficiary Member States, including Guyana.



Guyana 2nd Cycle CAP signing

Minister of Finanace of Guyana Mr. Winston Jordan, CEO of the CDF Mr. Rodinald Soomer and

Minister of Agriculture of Guyana Mr. Noel Holder after signing the second cycle CAP.