The Guyana Government is aiming to launch an initiative whereby single mothers can earn as much as $7,000 a day by supplying fresh cow milk to the $150M processing facility at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice (WCB).
This was indicated by President Dr Irfaan Ali on Sunday during a press conference hosted at State House, Georgetown.
“So, whilst we’ll have the mainstream farmers, I’m looking at the [East Bank/Coast] corridor, in which we can get single parents, for example single mothers, and they can have two cows. Now, if you do that throughout, you’ll be able to produce the milk and you’ll have milking stations, this is how they do it in many of the countries that have a strong dairy industry and they have milking stations where the milk goes to the station,” the Guyanese Head of State explained.
“You’re talking about a family earning between $5,000 to $7,000 a day, with the government catalysing by investing in the capital, bringing in the breed of animal, and getting people involved. That is part of the holistic plan,” he added.
President Ali indicated that “thousands” of these special milking cows will have to be imported. “The government is investing in small farmers to ensure they have the facility to take up the production,” the President expressed.
In October 2021, the sod was turned for the Amaya milk plant in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice). The project was conceptualised and is being developed by Canadian-based investor Omkarr Sharma.
The project is expected to be rolled out in two phases: the first phase focusing specifically on the production of pasteurised milk while the second phase, which is expected to commence within two years, will see the company producing other milk-based products such as yogurt and flavoured milk, specifically strawberry and chocolate, among other unique flavours.
Initially, the plant will be able to produce 100 gallons per day. This amount could later increase to 800 gallons a day depending on the supply from farmers. At capacity, the facility is expected to make in excess of $75 million per month in direct payment to dairy farmers in Regions Five and Six.
At the turning of the sod, it was announced that construction will be completed making way for Amaya’s products to be on the shelves of local supermarkets by April 2022.
With the introduction of Amaya’s products to the local market, it is expected that Guyana’s milk import bill, which is currently estimated to be US$35 million per annum, will see a significant reduction.