Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin has expressed satisfaction at the growing numbers of young entrepreneurs who are embracing the concept of agro-processing and the support for local market by Guyanese.
The Business Minister also noted the efforts being made by the local manufacturers and producers to improve their products presentations.
“They understand the concept of good packaging; they have a greater brand awareness which comes out in their approach to business. Certainly, I have seen an improvement in the quality of packaging over the last few years,” Minister Gaskin said.
The Business Minister was speaking at the opening of the UncappeD Marketplace & Food Festival at the Providence Cricket Stadium, on Sunday.
He explained that last year, the government has been supporting the initiative because, “Agriculture is big business all around the world. Food in general is big business and we see the potential of this industry to feed our people and to grow and develop into a more viable export industry.”
The private sector-led one-day initiative was organised by the Guyana Marketing and Service Association. First Vice-President, Ramsay Ali explained that with support from the other local sponsors, the manufacturing and service association was able to provide the booths to the exhibitors at a reduced cost. They were also able to guarantee free entrance for patrons.
ExxonMobil is one of the major supports of the event. Senior Director of Public and Government Affairs, Kimberly Brasington explained that the US oil and gas exploration company came onboard the initiative because, “It is a great opportunity for us to partner with the country to demonstrate and lead by example the importance of diversification.”
Brasington said while oil and gas is a thriving industry, focus must be kept on the agriculture sector. “The way we can get involved is by making it possible for agro-processors to come out and put their products on display,” she added.
This year’s UncappeD Marketplace & Food Festival saw a slew of local manufacturers and ago-processors showcasing their products. Some of the exhibitors included Guy-Flavours Natural Foods, Eco Atlantic International Investment Inc., Diekah’s Spices, Sherl’s Cosmetics, Sun Crest Farms, Morning Glory Cereal Factory and Lisa’s Manufacturing.
Patrons who flocked the Stadium were given an opportunity to browse and sample from a variety of wines, herbal teas, seasonings, jams and jellies, barbeque sauces cereals, snacks and other condiments from among the products on display.
GMSA collaborated with the government and private enterprise to host the inaugural ‘Uncapped’ last year at the Sophia Exhibition Complex with the of promoting local products.
The three-day (October 27 to 29, 2017) exhibition, food festival and culture saw some 60 exhibitors and more than 5,000 patrons.
The GMSA had later reported that at least seven to eight exhibitors were able to expand their businesses by selling more of their products in the retail stores here in Guyana.
Uncapped is expected to held in other regions of the country throughout the year.