US$15M dairy plant for Soesdyke-Linden Highway soon – Pres Ali

President Dr Irfaan Ali in Orealla on Saturday

…announces marine cages & aquaculture capacity-building, solar units for Orealla

On a visit to Orealla in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), President Dr Irfaan Ali announced that a US$15 million dairy plant along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway is in the pipelines and that a plan for this project has already been approved.

According to President Ali on Saturday, a plan for the facility was approved only on Friday. He explained that this project will be linked to the by-products of milk, such as buttermilk, whey and skim milk.

“We’re looking at modern ways in which we can expand agriculture. Here in these communities, we have the opportunity to expand livestock. Only yesterday, we approved a new plan that will see a US$15 million investment in a dairy plant on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, that will be linked to every by-product of milk.”

Earlier this year, it was announced that Tropical Orchard Products Company Limited (TOPCO), a subsidiary of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) would soon be embarking on a project to re-introduce dairy farming on a large scale to the community of Moblissa along the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.

This will pave the way for the company to sell pasteurised cow’s milk within two years’ time.

During a press briefing at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACC), the company had stated that technical and financial feasibility studies have not yet been completed, and the company is currently in discussions to settle on a possible plot of land to rear some 500 cows.

These cows would be imported into Guyana in the initial stage from Israel. Chairman of DDL, Komal Samaroo stated that the initiative is a part of the company’s major diversification drive while stating they have not yet finalised where the rearing of the cows will be done.

Residents of Orealla at Saturday’s outreach

When fully operational, the project is expected to hire hundreds of locals, produce 1200 litres of milk daily from the milking cows, and have over 600 acres of forage plants under cultivation.

Projected benefits to the local farming community include contract farming and training, as well as the introduction of new technologies and different cow breeds.

It had also been reported that DDL was in talks with utility companies, including Guyana Power and Light and Guyana Water Incorporated, to find the best options possible.

Marine cage

President Ali also announced that five marine cages will be introduced in Orealla by the end of this year. This, he said, is a multi-agency effort aimed at boosting the agricultural and aquaculture potential of the community.

“In terms of aquaculture, I’ve just checked with one of the large exporters of basha and they said that the average price is about $200 per pound. That is what they buy to export. Now we have to look at the long term. This is a long-term industry. So, what are we going to do?”

“I’m going to ask the Ministry of Agriculture to work with you and have five marine cages. Marine cages are what they use around the world to grow the fish in its natural environment. So, we’ll make it easier and have more guaranteed production. So, we’ll work with you on a marine cage project,” Ali explained, adding that they will also work with Orealla in developing their aquaculture for Tilapia rearing.

Ali also spoke about plans to build a national technical training centre in Region Six, focused on skill development. There are also plans for 30,000 new household solar units, some of which will go towards Orealla.

“We have already concluded arrangements to have a new household solar programme. So that we’ll get 30,000 new household solar units coming into Guyana, of which your community will benefit,” the President said, assuring them that they will get support in the areas that include agriculture, energy, and transportation.