The Ministry of Agriculture on Friday commissioned a $28.3 million agro-processing facility in Charity, located on the Essequibo Coast in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam). The facility, equipped to provide vital agro-processing services, is set to have a lasting impact on the region.
With a monthly production capacity of 24,000 liters of cassareep and 3,600 liters of sauces and seasonings, this state-of-the-art facility is poised to benefit approximately 300 individuals, including farmers, youth, and other stakeholders.
During the commissioning ceremony, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha emphasized the government’s commitment to unlocking the untapped potential of the agro-processing industry. He highlighted that the government has invested significantly, allocating over G$570 million to facilitate access to certified and well-equipped agro-processing facilities.
Minister Mustapha stated, “This facility here in Charity, like the other facilities that have been commissioned, will contribute to benefiting more than 2,600 farmers, new and existing agro-processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers countrywide.” He also pointed out that this facility’s capabilities extend to processing products such as cassava cassareep, sauces, and seasonings, offering opportunities for farmers from neighboring villages to utilize the facility effectively.
It was revealed that the agro-processing facility underwent extensive retrofitting to ensure round-the-clock service. It now boasts mixers, blenders, stoves, stainless steel containers, chillers, and mechanized production. Additionally, a solar dryer has been installed to aid in the dehydration of carambola fruits and other commodities, thereby extending their shelf life and contributing to food security.
Minister Mustapha further announced that by the end of 2023, a total of 13 agro-processing facilities will be operational throughout Guyana. He expressed hope that these initiatives would promote the growth of the agro-processing industry and enhance self-sufficiency in food production.
Teshawna Lall, the General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (New GMC), highlighted the corporation’s commitment to working with agro-processors to meet local, regional, and international standards. She stated, “With the commissioning of this facility, women, youth, and agro-processors as a whole will be able to produce more efficiently and competitively, aided by state-of-the-art equipment.”
As part of the Ministry’s developmental agenda, over 200 farmers and agro-processors from various communities have received training and sensitization in the last three years. This includes instruction in packaging, labeling, and compliance with food and drug requirements, bolstering the agro-processing industry’s potential.
Mustapha maintained that the commissioning of the $28.3 million agro-processing facility at Charity represents a significant step forward in Guyana’s agricultural landscape. According to him, it not only enhances processing capabilities but also promises to benefit numerous individuals and communities, ultimately contributing to the nation’s agricultural and economic growth.