As the Ministry of Agriculture forges ahead with plans to transform the food sector, another $398.1 million in contracts were awarded to five contractors, on Wednesday.
During the ceremony at the ministry’s boardroom, Castilho Engenharia Incorporated inked a $261.7 million contract to rehabilitate 18 kilometers of the Ituni/Tacoma main access road. The completion of this project will improve access to thousands of acres of farmlands.
Through the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), three contracts valued $115.7 million was awarded to Memorex Enterprise, while the other two were signed by Farm Supplies Limited.
Memorex Enterprise is responsible for the extension of the sugar storage bond at the Blairmont estate. The new marketing model for sugar produced by the entity will require the estate to package all of their annual sugar produced, estimated at 23,000 metric tonnes.
Farm Supplies Limited will supply and deliver a motor road grader and a vibratory compactor road roller to the sugar company.
The road grader machine will help with the maintenance of about 783.1 kilometers of roads at the Albion and Blairmont estates, while the other multipurpose machine will be used for the maintenance of all-weather roads and earthen dams on estates throughout the Berbice region.
Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha said the transportation routes are critical to the safe and timely movement of labour, equipment, materials and harvested canes, noting that without proper facilities, production will be compromised.
Further, the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) has awarded $4.5 million to Meditron Incorporated and another $16.1 million to Western Scientific Company Limited for the supply and delivery of equipment for the agri-processing facility in Region 10.
The ministry intends to retrofit the facility with modern equipment to provide a certified environment for new and existing agro-processors. The initiative is also part of government’s plan to boost agro-processing nationwide.
Minister Mustapha said his ministry does not regret making these significant investments, as it is already seeing positive results.
“These contracts are important because for example we are embarking on new crops in the intermediate savannah. We have already started a trial for corn and soya beans there with a group from the private sector and the trial is looking very good in terms of production.”
He said the ministry will closely monitor the progress of the works at each location.
“We are coming to the end of the year, and these are some of the projects that remain to complete our work programme for the year, so these are very important projects for us.
The minister urged that contractors abide by the terms set out in the contracts they signed.