Documents the decline and rise of the Guyanese economy, with particular focus on the agricultural sector and its contribution to employment creation and poverty alleviation. The demarcation line between decline and recovery is put at 1988 because of the adoption that year of the Economic Reform Programme, although actual recovery only started in 1990. Recommendations are made for a shift in policy orientation towards the smallholder sector. Section I discusses the build up of the crisis between 1976 and 1988, first from the macroeconomic perspective and then from the angle of the agricultural sector. Section II starts with an analysis of the Economic Recovery Programme adopted in 1988. Two years had to elapse before recovery took hold. Subsequent discussion looks as before at the macro aspects of the recovery followed by the agricultural perspective. Section III discusses the constraints faced by the agricultural sector. Section IV shifts gears and analyses the employment and poverty situation of the country. Use is made for both of the Household Income and Expenditure Survey. The employment profile shows the importance of the agricultural sector for future employment creation, while the poverty profile shows its importance from the angle of poverty eradication. Changes in employment and incomes are analysed. Section V presents the conclusions. Two appendices accompany the paper -- one on poverty lines and the other on Guyana's food balance sheet. The former lays the basis for suggesting a new poverty line for Guyana. This poverty line is lower than the existing ones, and thus also the new estimate of poverty. A warning has been expressed in the discussion about the non-sanctity of poverty lines and is worth repeating here: the new lower estimate of poverty in Guyana should not be a cause for complacency, nor be used to calibrate the amount of aid Guyana should deserve vis-à-vis other developing countries.