GCCI targeting 40 businesses for $28.5M agro-processors training
The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is undertaking a $28.5M project to help local agro-processors improve their standards and capabilities.
The project is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and local partners.
Speaking with the News Room on Friday morning, Project Manager Eusi Evelyn noted that the developing oil and gas industry is one which is highly standardized. As such anyone who wants to supply the industry will need to ensure their products are the best.
“So in order even to sell locally to some of those organisations, they will ask to see what quality standards you have in place and are practising,” he noted.
Guyana’s economy has always been agriculture-based but efforts to transform the products to value-added have not borne much fruit.
Due to this failure, packaged agricultural products are imported from mainly CARICOM states.
“People are buying those imported products because of the quality so we want to ensure that our local producers can be able to compete at that level,” Evelyn noted.
It is expected the revenue from the oil and gas industry will be used to push the agriculture sector which over the years has seen had little value-added products.
Additionally, Evelyn pointed out that agriculture accounts for most of the employment in rural communities and it was found that due to the seasonal nature of crops, many persons start processing fruits and vegetables without the required training.
“Many times there are seasonal crops and we have a lot of spoilage. As a result, it encourages a lot of people to [process the items] so what we want to do is not to only have it done on a seasonal basis, but to be organised for production so themselves could engage local farmers in the community to cultivate specific crops,” he noted.
The GCCI is targeting 40 small and medium-sized businesses from the ten administrative regions. It is currently inviting expressions of interest which can be submitted to the GCCI’s Waterloo Street office by November 16 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The training will be conducted under the theme “Improving Quality Standards of Agro-Processors through training.”
It aims to enhance the managerial, technical and operational capacity of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Guyana. Training will be provided on Packaging and Labelling, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Access Critical Control Point (HACCP).