Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha says the government wants to push agro-processing so that local farmers can benefit from greater agricultural opportunities. As such, farmers across the country will be able to use 13 agro-processing facilities the government plans to build.
All 13 facilities will be completed by the end of 2023, Mustapha told residents and farmers of Parika, East Bank Essequibo, recently.
And he said the government hopes to build those facilities in rural areas as well. Aranaputa and St. Ignatius in Region Nine, Whitewater in Region One, Charity in Region Two and Black Bush Polder in Region Six are among the areas where the facilities will be established.
Some facilities have already been established, offering farmers cold-storage and packaging services.
In most of the areas, farmers in various farmers’ groups will receive training from the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC). That training is meant to assist them in harnessing the services offered at the facilities.
A slightly different arrangement, however, exists at the Parika agro-processing facility that was recently opened.
There, a newly-formed company, Caribe Snacks, is partially leasing the facility to produce some 200,000 packs of plantain and cassava chips weekly.
Mustapha said this arrangement is only in place for the Parika facility as this venture offers farmers a steady market for their products. But other farmers can still access other services offered there.
“I instructed GMC this afternoon that they must continue the cold storage facility and packaging here for farmers,” Mustapha told the News Room on Friday.
He added, “This facility here will still cater for farmers.
“… Unlike in other areas, we are working with farmers’ groups”