Gov’t officially launches $900M Forestry Revolving Fund to boost logging sector
As part of celebrations for International Day of Forests 2023, the Ministry of Natural Resources on March 21, 2023, launched the $900 million Forestry Revolving Fund, aimed at addressing the expansion and financial woes of the logging sector in Guyana.
The fund’s partnership, one between the Government of Guyana and Demerara Bank, sees the two partners investing $300 million and $600 million, respectively, at a meagre and highly competitive interest rate of 4%. The government will work in connection with the bank to prequalify persons based on recommendations from the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC).
Delivering the keynote address, Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Vickram Bharrat M.P., highlighted that Guyana boasts 18 million hectares of forests totalling 87% of Guyana’s land area. As fruit of this, this South American nation swaggers having one of the lowest deforestation rates in the world. Some 22,000 are employed by the sector, which in 2022 garnered US$78 million in export earnings.
“We are committed to growing the non-oil economy and we are learning from the mistakes of our country. Guyana has the second highest non-oil growth of 2022, with 11.5%,” Minister Bharrat related. In 2023 and beyond, the Natural Resources Minister committed to spearheading the encouragement of greater utilization of issued concessions; to promote value-added by supporting initiatives such as the prefab housing project which has a huge potential for a consortium of supplies for lumber; and to improve the quality at the sawmills and lumber, just to name a few.
The theme of the International Day of Forests 2023 is “Forests and Health”. The focus is on highlighting how forests support all facets of our health, from purifying our air and water to supplying us with vital food, fuel, medicines and income.