Today officially marked nine years since the establishment of the Guyana Shop, Guyana’s largest one-stop shop for locally made products.
The Guyana Shop, which is managed by the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (New GMC), was established to provide a space for agro-processors and other manufacturers to market and sell their products to those looking to “buy local”.
While delivering remarks at the event, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said that agro-processing has evolved into a business that is taking the Caribbean by storm.
“Today, the Guyana Shop is celebrating nine years since its establishment. When we look at our agro-processors and our country’s agro-processing capabilities, over the years, it has evolved into a business that is taking the Caribbean by storm. Nine years ago, there were only a few persons involved in agro-processing. Today, there are a number of persons involved in agro-processing as is evident by the hundreds of nicely packaged commodities available on the shelves. One of the objectives of our government is to ensure we develop this aspect of the agriculture sector. This year, the New GMC will be building several new agro-processing facilities across the country. These facilities will be built in both urban and rural parts of the country like in the deep south of Region Nine, Black Bush Polder in Region Six, Region Ten, and on the Essequibo Coast,” Minister Mustapha said.
He further disclosed that, as Chairman of the Ministerial Taskforce set up by CARICOM to address issues relating to agriculture among member states, he has been working to address the many barriers to trade that are affecting Guyanese agro-processors and producers.
“We are building these facilities because there are many persons who want to get involved in these types of activities. Earlier today, I had a discussion with a company that is interested in working with about 50 agro-processors to help them develop their business. So you can see that this government is taking this aspect of agriculture very seriously. Also, as Chairman of the special Ministerial Taskforce that was set up by CARICOM to address issues relating to agriculture among member states, I’ve been looking at barriers to trade that are prohibiting our products from entering those markets. We have been moving rapidly to address this and very soon you will see many of these items being exported to new markets in the Caribbean and other parts of the world,” Minister Mustapha added.
Minister Mustapha also stated that the New GMC has been tasked with developing innovative ideas to have more Guyana Shop corners established across the country.
General Manager of the New GMC, Teshawna Lall said despite the ongoing global pandemic, the Guyana Shop was able to expand on its line of products and establish additional facilities across the country.
“The mandate of the Guyana Shop is to house, promote and build awareness for the vastly growing array of locally manufactured products. The Guyana Shop has in excess of 600 different product lines and 120 agro-processers. Despite the pressures of Covid19, we managed to add 39 products and 14 new agro-processors. We also saw the addition of 60 over-the-counter (OTC) products from Twins Manufacturing and the New GPC. To top off the ending of a great year, we were successful in establishing four new Guyana Shop Corners,” Ms. Lall said
Manager of the Guyana Shop, Kevin Macklingam said that since its establishment, the Guyana Shop was able to work with agro-processors to develop their packaging capabilities.
“Over the years we’ve evolved from using recycled bottles and photocopied labels to international standards of new bottles and labels. At first, agro-processors were reluctant to the change but with the encouragement of The New GMC, they’ve evolved. This is evident in the attractive display of the varying products being offered in the Guyana Shop today,” Mr. Macklingam said.
The Guyana Shop is located at the corner of Robb and Alexander Streets, Bourda and carries products ranging from sauces, dried fruits, seasonings, laundry detergents, and cosmetics just to name a few.