The $60 million agro-processing facility in Pomeroon-Supenaam (Region Two) is complete and will soon be outfitted with high-end equipment ahead of its official opening.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, on Sunday, said the machines are being procured and should arrive within the next two months.
The state-of-the-art food processing factory is located adjacent to the Guyana School of Agriculture’s (GSA), Region Two campus.
It has vast potential to provide a broad range of training opportunities for residents there.
Speaking to DPI at the location, Dr. Singh said he anticipates a major economic boost to the district’s agricultural industry.
He explained that while GSA students in Essequibo benefitted from theoretical lectures, they faced challenges gaining practical experience.
“The construction of the facility serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it would allow students of the GSA based in Essequibo, to be able to complete their practical training in a live environment. There are going to be dry and wet processing lines. Dry line for the purposes of processing things like flours; cassava flour etcetera and on the wet line things like pepper sauce, jams, and spices,” Dr. Singh explained.
The facility will also provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs to process and package their produce for marketing.
“It will also serve as a facilitator for the development of an agro-processing business or sector in Essequibo, which of course is very important because Essequibo as you know is famous for its fresh, good quality and large quantity of agriculture produce,” the Minister added.
Government has been investing heavily in the food sector to ensure it moves from a producer of primary farming, to one of equitable value-added products.
The establishment of the food processing hub is part of government’s wider strategic plan to provide massive resources for the nation’s agriculturists to produce and export value- added products.
It is also part of the matrix of training opportunities for Guyanese in all aspect of economic activity.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said two additional agro-processing facilities will be established in the Region come 2022. The Minister said government is receiving signals of interest from many countries.
Works are underway to construct a similar facility at Black Bush Polder, Region Six.