Agro-processing fair ‘Uncapped’ slated for October month end

Guyana’s newest trade and agro-processing fair ‘Uncapped’ is billed for the Sophia Exhibition Complex from October 27 to 29, 2017.

The three-day exhibition, food festival and culture show is a collaborative effort between the Government of Guyana, Private enterprises and the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA).

Sham Nokta, President GMSA.

Sham Nokta, President GMSA.

President of the GMSA, Sham Nokta told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that, the idea behind ‘Uncapped’ is to bring together both large and small agro-producers, entities involved in supporting agro-processing and agencies and institutions to ensure their products can access and meet market requirements.

Further, Nokta said that the trade fair will also feature a food festival which will provide an opportunity to showcase what is being produced locally. It also allows businesses to explore the prospects of working together to create awareness and promote and expand the agro-processing sector to meet domestic needs, the Caribbean and markets further afield.

Acknowledging that there are many challenges faced by the local agro-processing sector, Nokta said the work must begin somewhere if the sector is to move forward.

“For many years we have been talking about our potential to not only feed the Caribbean but to look wider afield. The GMSA recognises that there are many challenges for us to be able to do this and they range from packaging and marketing to being able to access regional and international markets and meeting all the requirements, but we felt that first, we need to start creating the awareness right here at home because there are many people doing good things that we are not aware of. Why should we have products coming from external sources when those very same products we can make right here,” Nokta explained.

Ramsay Ali, Event Manager, Uncapped.

Ramsay Ali, Event Manager, Uncapped

Meanwhile, Ramsay Ali, Vice President of the GMSA and event Manager of ‘Uncapped’ emphasized the importance of local business owners moving the local agro-processing sector forward. “We are encouraging the shop owners of Guyana, all the shop owners to come to this event to see exactly what Guyanese are producing that can be used locally instead of imported stuff. We have some good Guyanese products here but they need help from the Guyanese storekeepers to put those products on their shelves and promote them.”

The three-day event will feature an opening ceremony at 17:00hrs on Friday 27th October. A number of government officials including President David Granger and Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin are slated to be at the event.

A culture night featuring many local artistes inclusive of Terry Gajraj and the cast of Nothing to Laugh About and Shakti Strings band will be on Saturday, October 28.

The agro fair culminates on Sunday, October 29th with “a grand” local food festival sponsored by the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL).  According to the organizers, they have invited 12 iconic food restaurants in Guyana, so persons attending will be able to experience and enjoy all the local flavours offered.

Others sponsors of the first-time event include IPED, Edward Beharry and Company, Sterling Products Limited, Impressions, Republic Bank and Banks DIH.