The Government of Guyana is working to assist farmers who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
In an interview with DPI, Minister of Business Haimraj Rajkumar disclosed that his office is working to establish a new agency to organise assistance for farmers.
The Coordinating Agency for Small Enterprises (CASE) was established under the leadership of President David Granger and is aimed at supporting farmers and small business owners and employees.
“CASE, is comprised of agencies from the Ministry of Business and the Ministry of Agriculture and part of its responsibility is to develop measures to alleviate poverty, create employment, stimulate domestic production and consumption of locally produced goods,” Minister Rajkumar explained.
He noted that the coalition government is encouraging citizens to buy more locally produced products to support small businesses and to stimulate Guyana’s economy.
“We recognise that our small businesses, our farmers, their main activity is farming, agro-processing; producing, manufacturing … so we must boost their activity; produce more locally. Therefore, we are encouraging our citizens to buy more locally-produced items and in doing so you will indirectly support our local industry.”
The council of Ministers has approved the use of local products procured from small businesses, farmers and agro-processors for use by the Civil Defense Commission during their hamper relief distribution exercises.
Minister Rajkumar further noted that the amounts that will be allotted to businesses will depend on the nature and size of the business.
While COVID-19 has impacted the business sector, the grants are intended to serve as a stimulus for small businesses to stay afloat and can be used to offset expenses, pay staff, purchase supplies etc.
Application forms can be found on the Bureau’s website www.sbb.gov.gy or their Facebook Page ‘small business bureau Guyana’.
Additionally, under the Ministry of Business, there is another COVID-19 relief programme that is being managed by the Small Business Bureau.
This programme intended to serve as a stimulus for small businesses to stay afloat and can be used to offset expenses, pay staff, purchase supplies etc.
Over 500 persons have already registered.