Pritipaul Singh Investment to tap into Indian expertise in aquaculture

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PSI CEO Pritipaul Singh with Indian High Commissioner, Dr KJ Srinivasa and others during Friday’s tour

As Pritipaul Singh Investment (PSI) embarks on consolidating its operations to a US$50 million state-of-the-art and modern facility currently under construction at Providence, East Bank Demerara, the local fishery giant is looking to tap into the expertise of India to further enhance its efficiency in the aquaculture industry.

The company engaged Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr KJ Srinivasa, on Friday to discuss the possibility of having Indian experts come to Guyana to assist in streamlining aquaculture in Guyana to meet international standards. Following an hour-long meeting, Chief Executive Officer of PSI, Pritipaul Singh, and his team led the Indian diplomat on a tour of ongoing construction works at the Providence facility.

Speaking with reporters after the tour, Singh explained that the aquaculture sector in Guyana can produce massive benefits not only for industry stakeholders but also the country as a whole. Hence, he underscored the importance of having experts here to inform of how they can further enhance operations to maximise benefits.

“In Guyana, there is a great opportunity for Guyanese… all we need is knowledge and that is what I have spoken to [High Commissioner] about. We need to have a team from India – scientists who can come down here and set up a laboratory to educate aquaculture farmers on what is here so they can understand what is the mechanism to do aquaculture. Also, provide the expertise in producing fingerling, feed and also what are the basic requirements for an individual, when they start up and take an opportunity… [so that] they won’t fail. They’d be successful by having an institute where people are knowledgeable and people are being educated,” the businessman stated.

The PSI CEO went on to note that his company is already doing business with India and knows of the wealth of knowledge and expertise available there. Now, he is turning to the Indian diplomat to assist in getting these experts here.

“We have also asked him for assistance with food technologists and also experts to support our new ventures. This would be the direction we are working towards. We have already initiated it… and I think before the end of the year, we will have a positive direction forward whereby we would get the best advice and eventually when we start this project, we would invite people to come here to educate us, train us and be with us to ensure that we stay on top of what we are doing,” Singh said.

Construction works ongoing on the US$50 million facility at Providence

Meanwhile, High Commissioner Srinivasa said Friday’s engagement was part of his office’s efforts to foster relations with not just the Guyana Government but also the local private sector. He noted that the Agriculture Ministry has already requested assistance from India in this sector and now a private company has directly reached out for same.

According to the Indian diplomat, PSI has the potential to further cement its place in the aquaculture industry.

“They want to do business with India and we would be very glad to help them, putting them in touch with the right people in India and see how best we can facilitate getting the right set of people to come to Guyana and give them the technical expertise to proceed,” Srinivasa said.

However, the High Commissioner explained that due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, getting things done such as the movement of personnel has been taking time. He cited travel restrictions resulting in longer routes having to be taken, transportation from India being delayed due to the non-availability of containers and the high costs of shipping as some of the challenges being faced.

Nevertheless, the Indian envoy said he is impressed with the investment being undertaken by PSI.

“I think in this great disruptive time, the investments that is being made by PSI are really great for this country,” he posited.

Updating reporters on the progress of the US$50 million facility, Singh indicated that the project is almost 50 per cent completed and is on schedule for its August 2022 completion. According to the businessman, he has been integrally involved in the process to ensure that they remain on track.

Upon completion, the multimillion-dollar modern facility is slated to be commissioned in November next year.

PSI embarked on consolidating its McDoom, Greater Georgetown, and Providence operations last year in order to increase its efficiency.

“We are looking to enhance our business, where we can quadruple our output and in the process of doing that, increase our efficiency… [to] keep up with the global demands and the markets in the international arena. We have embarked on areas where we can also be cost effective by bringing all two locations into one. At the end of the day, with the challenges in the world like the pandemic… as a business owner, [we have to be] creative to stay on top in the industry,” Singh stressed.