The completion of a multimillion-dollar state-of-the-art abattoir in Region Five this year will raise Guyana’s status in the Caribbean as a major player in the beef industry, says the country’s Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha.
The Minister made the disclosure on Tuesday, as the House continued the consideration of the 2023 budget estimates at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
Opposition Parliamentarians, including Vinceroy Jordan, Shurwayne Holder and Khemraj Ramjattan grilled the minister on the allocation of $500M towards the advancement of the project.
Mustapha said that the sum is not the actual cost of the project, but rather, the government’s contribution given that the facility is being constructed through an arrangement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He added that the $500M is also set to cover the cost of other projects that fall under the programme. These, he said, include “periphery” works such as the construction of drains and bridges.
Minister Mustapha told the House that the contractor has already mobilised and a supervisory agency deployed to provide “strict monitoring”.
“We are hoping that by the end of this year, this abattoir can be completed…The Contractor has already mobilised and will soon start some work. The work is being supervised by the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and we’ll be doing strict monitoring because we know for a fact that our country now is poised to become a major player in the beef and cattle industry. So, that is why we urgently need an abattoir – a modern state-of-the-art abattoir so we can start exporting beef to the Caribbean,” he noted.
Guyana Standard understands that IDB is funding the project through its Sustainable Agricultural Development Project (SADP). In an invitation for bids (IFB) issued by the Ministry last year, it was stated that the project will cost $465.2M with works expected to be completed within 12 months.