‘It may start with plantain chips’ – President on job creation
President David Granger had no numbers to provide of jobs created since he assumed office two and a half years ago, and shrugged off claims of him running a “plantain chip” economy.
“It may start with plantain chips… small things could end up big,” Granger said when asked about job creation under his administration.
“I know somebody who started off producing fruit juices at Timehri and today those fruits juices are being bottled or boxed…,” the President stated as he sought to trump up what he called a “stirring” cottage industry.
“As far as the jobs are concerned, I cannot give you a number; perhaps the Minister of Business can give you a number,” Granger told a press conference when questioned about job creation.
Granger said that from what he has seen in six regional exhibitions, there is a “lot of unregistered employment” particularly by young people and women.
“For example, go into the Rupununi; you see housewives using old Voka bottles or rum bottles to sell the molasses or to sell their honey. There is a great stirring of a cottage industry,” Granger stated.
He added: “Some people call it the plantain chip economy. I would like those same people to go to the regional exhibitions which we have been holding around the country and see women coming out of Yupukari and Hiawa, see housewives getting into the micro economy; and you can see something happening in Guyana.”
The President said that the government was rebalancing the economy through it’s support of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, mindful of the potential of such enterprises to generate employment.
HE said that loans and grants have been issued under the Hinterland Employment Youth Scheme, the Linden Enterprise Network, the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED), the Sustainable Livelihoods and Entrepreneurial Development, the Women of Worth Initiative and the People of Worth Entrepreneurial Resources (POWER) Initiative.