On Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture awarded a $9.6 million contract to Anil Lalsa Construction to build a brand new packaging and agro-processing facility at Watooka, Linden.
The Agriculture Ministry said that such a facility will “drastically reduce wastage and spoilage.”
The new facility will provide farmers and potential agro-processors with the opportunity to add value to their products, while simultaneously increasing their agro-processing capacity.
It will also see the provision of more modern agro-processing equipment that will be used to convert raw foods into process foods.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha told the News Room that the construction of the facility is one of many in the pipeline to make Guyana’s local produce “more value-added.”
Other rural areas across Guyana, including St. Ignatius in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) and Fort Wellington in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), will also have similar facilities.
The facility is a major step forward in President Irfaan Ali’s vision for a sustainable and robust economy, and a food secure Guyana.
The establishment of this facility contributes to the President’s desire for mega investments in the agriculture sector through the creation of value-added agriculture products to boost Guyana’s capacity within the regional market and create opportunities for export.
The agro-processing facility will be critical in building Guyana’s capacity for the large scale production of packaged fruit and dairy products and will reduce the level of spoilage of fruits by converting them to processed products, which can be sold locally or exported.
In addition, the Agriculture Ministry also doled out two other contracts totalling $8.2 million for the supply and delivery of preservatives, and the supply, delivery and installation of two permanent cold storage facilities.
The first contract for $4.3 million was awarded to Meditron Inc. to facilitate the required temperature needs for produce and products.
“The facility will allow for different temperature use at the same time through the separations within the facility,” the Ministry noted.
It will also bring about “cost reduction”, taking pressure off of producers who would not be forced to rent an entire container for use. It is expected to have an increased storage capacity of between 50,000 to 55,000 pounds of goods.
Further, the other contract was awarded to Umami Incorporated to facilitate the availability of preservatives needed by agro-processors.
“This will aid in the time it takes a processor to import those essential items for food processing and reduce costs,” the Ministry said.