DDL invests some $4B into Juice Plant project
Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) has invested approximately G$4 billion into a Tropical Orchard Products Company (TOPCO) expansion project which is designed to process and package increased volumes of existing products.
Some of these products include cherry, passion fruit, carambola and guava juices as well as new ones including mango, pineapple, citrus and vegetable juices.
The expanded plant which is expected to be commissioned in mid-2020 will also be geared to produce pasteurized milk, initially from reconstituted milk and eventually from milk supplied by local dairy farmers, a press release from the company noted Friday.
Discussions on the expansion project were held Tuesday with representatives of several relevant government ministries and agencies including the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance and Education along with the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), the University of Guyana (UG), the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and the Carnegie School of Home Economics.
“Representatives of these agencies were brought up to date on the progress being made with the project through a detailed presentation by the plant manager Rebecca Rampher,” the release noted.
It was further explained that TOPCO will require a combined total of almost 2 million pounds of cherries, carambola, guava and passion fruit in 2020, up from the 357,281 pounds supplied so far for 2019, an increase of 444 per cent.
The discussions focused on the role all stakeholders must play to ensure the success of the project and the benefits to be accrued.
“Farmers will benefit from this project through a guarantee that their supply of fruits to TOPCO is secure, with stability of prices in spite of market demand/supply conditions as well as the potential to increase their cultivation of target fruits (cherry, guava, passion fruit, carambola) to increase supply to TOPCO as well as supply additional fruits and vegetables.
“Another benefit to farmers will be the ability to collaborate with a network of technical and financial agriculture-support agencies, as part of the holistic market-driven approach to developing partnerships with local fruits and dairy farmers.”
According to DDL, the main components of the expansion project are the installation of a one-ton per hour fruit processing line and of a 1L Tetra Pak Juice and Milk packaging line.
It was noted that this equipment is already in Guyana and the visitors were able to get an on the spot look on work currently taking place on the project.