New GMC to boost extension, export & post-harvest handling services with additional vehicles 

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Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha (third right) hands over contract documents to one of the company’s reps in the presence of other Ministry of Agriculture officials (DPI Photo Z)

The New Guyana Marketing Corporation’s (New GMC) extension arm will soon benefit from 13 new motorcycles and three all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) to better advance its extension services across the country.

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha made this disclosure after the agency signed three contracts last week for the supply of the vehicles. Marics and Company Limited signed a contract valued $5,950,800 for the supply of the ATVs, while Automobile Power Products inked a contract for $3,185,000 for the supply of the motorcycles.

Minister Mustapha said the addition of these new vehicles would enhance extensions services, and complement the investments that the Government has made in the agency over the last nine months.

“The New GMC has an integral role to play in the agriculture sector. Since taking office, we’ve instituted several changes to bring the agency to where it needs to be. The agency is now more responsive and more involved in the marketing aspect of agriculture. Farmers are now being engaged on a regular basis. We are also sensitising them on how to make the most out of what they produce.

We are now working to educate farmers across the country about what crops are in demand, what are the high-earning crops, and how to move away from subsistence farming. It is time for us to move away from the old way of doing things where we would go from the farm to the market. When your produce is properly packaged, it becomes more attractive to the consumer, and this is where the value-added aspect comes in,” he said.

The contract was signed in the Ministry’s boardroom last Wednesday.

The ATVs will be used to improve the GMC’s extension services in Regions One and Seven while the motorcycles will be used to boost  extension capacity in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, and Ten.

Minister Mustapha also said that the new fleet of vehicles is expected to have an overall impact on the GMC’s ability to respond to questions, issues, and concerns as well as follow-up with farmers and agro-processors in the regions.

 Additional freezer trucks

In addition to the motorcycles and ATVs being procured, the New GMC will also be purchasing two additional freezer trucks, bringing its fleet of those vehicles to a total of six.

Ideal Auto Incorporated inked a contract for $19,380,000 to supply the two seven-ton freezer trucks.

With regards to the trucks, Minister Mustapha said they would be used by the New GMC’s Central Packaging Facility to facilitate exports and proper post-harvest handling of non-traditional agriculture produce.

According to the contract documents, the ATVs and motorcycles should be delivered to the New GMC before the end of August while the two freezer trucks will be procured some time in June. (Department of Public Information)