Gov’t spends $15M to equip agro-processing facilities in Reg. 9
Three contracts amounting to over $15.2 million were signed on Tuesday to facilitate the purchase of equipment for two recently constructed agro-processing facilities in Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo).
Those contracts were awarded to Western Scientific Co. LTD, Meditron Inc. and Kamapta Narain through the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC).
The contracts also provide for a marketing option for peanut – specifically targeting peanut butter production.
The government established the two new facilities in the farming communities of Aranaputa and St. Ignatius. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, with both facilities retrofitted, they will encourage agro-processing as a kick start of a new industry in the region.
The agro-processing facility is expected to further help the region to service its local shops, the school’s hot meal programmes and local supermarkets, the Ministry said.
The ministry said too that the projects will create employment and a bigger market for farmers’ produce from nearby communities such as Annai and Rupertee among others.
The new facilities will provide farmers and potential agro-processors with the opportunity to add value to their products, while simultaneously increasing their agro-processing capacity and drastically reducing wastage and spoilage.
It will also see the provision of more modern agro-processing equipment that will be used to convert raw foods into process foods.
The establishment of those new facilities contributes to President Irfaan Ali’s desire for mega investments in the agriculture sector through the creation of value-added products to boost Guyana’s capacity within the regional market and create opportunities for export.
It is seen as a major step forward in President Ali’s vision for a sustainable and robust economy and a food secure Guyana.
The agro-processing facilities 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.
Previously, the GMC signed a contract with DBL Contracting and General Supplies to the tune of $22 million for the construction of the processing facility at Fort Wellington. Anil Lalsa Construction was awarded a $9.6 million contract to build a brand new packaging and agro-processing facility at Watooka.