Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2011 – 2015 is a confirmation of the path taken in 2001 with the Guyana’s first PRSP and it is a review of the key developments outlined at that time. Goals of the Strategy are: (i) generating economic growth; (ii) improving social services’ provision; (iii) enhancing governance structures; and (iv) progressing towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The poverty reduction agenda for 2011 - 2015 is rooted in the Government’s vision of the medium-term that centers on (i) high-value employment creation; (ii) improved standards of living; (iii) dramatic reduction in poverty; (iv) the rule of law and public safety; (v) protection of individual constitutional rights; and (vi) investments in human resource development. The core of the Strategy is set out in Chapters 8 – 12 that deal, respectively, with: the medium term economic policy agenda in support of the poverty reduction programme, including maintaining sound macroeconomic framework, establishing a business-friendly environment conducive to accelerated investment, continued modernization of the traditional sectors, supporting the emergence and growth of new sectors and cross-cutting policies to support growth and development (8); the institutional, regulatory and administrative reforms necessary to support growth and poverty reduction which include improving citizens’ security, justice administration and modernizing the public sector (9); the medium-term infrastructure strategy and programs referring to construction, rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance of (i) drainage and irrigation systems; (ii) roads and bridges; (iii) sea defenses; (iv) air and marine transport infrastructure; and (v) power generation, transmission and distribution (10); investment in human capital, by closing regional and gender disparities and improving equity in the allocation of resources and laying out the policies in health and education (11); and the overall medium-term macroeconomic framework (12).To make agriculture, forestry and fisheries more productive and sustainable, within the framework of a development of low-carbon economies in fruits and vegetables, aquaculture, sustainable forestry, and wood processing, the document, as a priority, proposes: (i) a diversification of the agricultural sector, be done through measures identified in the Sugar Action Plan (SAP) and the implementation of the Agricultural Diversification Programme (ADP), this latter aiming at a sustainable increase in non-traditional agricultural exports in fruits, vegetables, and meat products; (ii) expand drainage and irrigation of arable land suited for rice cultivation and continue research for more rice resistant seeds and three season crop per year; (iii) production of soya beans and cashew nuts for export and stock feed, after determining seed varieties that best fit the climatic and vegetation conditions of Guyana; (iv) development of sustainable forestry and wood processing sectors to facilitate long-term job creation and export earning capability, (v) increasing of an integrated land use planning for forestry, mining, and other forest-based land uses; (vi) deepen the quality and comprehensiveness of the MRV system and other capacities necessary to protect the forests, (vii) enforcement of the law and regulations to ensure that logging and all forestry concessions comply with global standards for sustainable forest management; (viii) protection and enhancement of the mangrove forests and (ix) development of aquaculture exports to create occupation and create income.In order of reducing rural poverty, the interventions must be addressed to reform of agriculture to have the biggest impact in the short-term in the main occupation sector of rural and interior communities, including (i) expanding productivity in the sugar industry; (ii) accelerating rice production and exports; and (iii) expanding production and exports of fruits and vegetables.To enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems, civil society, the private sector, and political parties should be engaged consistently, to deepen policy discussions, and ensure a dissemination strategy to inform the public, and build consensus. For this purpose, the Strategy proposes (i) governmental support to local and international firms in increasing end-user demand for products from Guyanese species; (ii) establishment of additional Community Forestry Organizations and providing them with accessible forested lands; (iii) facilitate foreign markets access; (iv) create incentives for private growers to increase production.To increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters, the Strategy underlines the need for an empirical database on the impacts of climate change, which should inform policy and investment decisions in adaptation actions, together with an Early warning system that would complement the traditional knowledge in guiding their farming practices.As for the Governance, one of the pillars on which the document is based is precisely governance to be strengthened through institutional reforms. The major areas of the Government’s institutional support programme will center on (i) modernizing the public sector; (ii) improving citizen’s security; (iii) improving the justice administration system; and (iv) deepening inclusion in political Governance.
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