The Ministry of Business and the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) are urging relevant stakeholders to use the Metric System, which is the legal system of measurement in Guyana.
This system conforms to the Standard International (SI) units including the kilogram (kg) that is used to measure mass.
This system is simple to learn and easy to use because of its decimal nature, Public Relations Officer for the GNBS, Lloyd David said.
A large percentage of the countries in the world use the metric system, especially in scientific research, manufacturing and trade, David explained. He noted that only a few countries still use the imperial system of measurement or a combination of both measuring systems. Guyana uses both.
David said that the local sectors have fully adopted the use of the metric system, even though there continues to be a wrestle between the two systems in the retail sector. He pointed out that over the years, the GNBS has conducted painstaking work to educate vendors and shopkeepers on how to use the metric system, The GNBS has also monitored vendors and shopkeepers to ensure that only verified metric measuring instruments are being used in the conduct of their trade.
David said that the GNBS has recognised that the adoption of the metric system should start from the top which includes policymakers, ministries of government and government agencies. He noted that the school system has already fully adopted the used of the metric system and the younger generation has a good understanding of its application.
The metric base unit for measuring mass is the kilogram (kg). When the kg is divided by 1000, the result is 1 gram (g) and when it is multiplied by 1000 the result is 1 metric tonne.
Mass (weight)-For everyday transactions especially in the conduct of commerce, there are four commonly used units; the milligram (mg), g, kg and tonne.
Mg is used for measuring very small amounts of substances for example, ingredients in medicines or drugs and some ingredients in recipes.
The g is used for measuring intermediate amounts. For example, 100g of butter, 250g of cheese.
The kg is used for measuring larger amounts, for example, 1 kg of potatoes, 10 kg of bananas, and 25 kg of rice
One kg is equivalent to two pounds, three ounces.
The tonne is used for measuring very large amounts, for example, truckloads of sand or stone, bulk sugar or rice.
David said that consumers are being urged to start requesting solid goods such as rice, peas, onions and potatoes in g and kg. These units should also be used to weigh solid hardware items such as nails, putty and glue that are sold by weight.
These goods can be easily and accurately weighed on verified metric devices used in the market place. Wholesalers and retailers have a significant role to play by packaging and selling their solid goods in metric quantities.