[www.inewsguyana.com] – Through the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST), Ministries of Finance and Tourism Industry and Commerce, a locally produced rice cereal has been unveiled as Guyana strives to add value to its products.
Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce (ag) Irfaan Ali said the factory, on which $75M was invested by Government, is in keeping with the delivery of a very important promise by President Donald Ramotar, who had previously asked the IAST to look at commercialising their technology after last year’s GuyExpo.
President Ramotar expressed his desire to see more of what IAST is doing commercialised during the launch of the cereal at the IAST booth.
“We can create a big demand for the variety of products we will have,” the President said.
This Rice Brekkies cereal, the first ever to be produced in Guyana will be marketed locally, regionally and internationally.
Dr. Suresh Narine, Head of IAST said the institute has been making a lot of efforts to use technology to create value for Guyana’s natural resources. He stated that the institute has been in resuscitation mode for the past 10 years, and added that this is the first of a series of commercialised products.
The factory, located in Region Two is capable of processing five tonnes of breakfast cereal per day. Dr. Narine said the product is very nutritious and market testing has already been done.
Based on market findings, the product has been well received. Minister of Agriculture, Dr Leslie Ramsammy said the launch of the rice cereal is the very essence of transformation, and added that the Government and people of Guyana are moving away from just producing raw material.
He said the rice cereal will be fortified with additional vitamins and micro-nutrients in the near future and added that it is another example of the transformation in Guyana.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said this new endeavour by the Government was catered for in the 2014 budget where $ 1 billion was earmarked to be used to promote entrepreneurial and innovative initiatives.
He explained that the new initiative of cereal production is about creating a market for rice farmers and millers who have been investing significantly in the industry, thus placing it in a position where it’s making record rice production. [Extracted and modified from GINA]