A five-year agreement was inked last Friday, between the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), and AMJ Agro-Processing Inc. for the utilisation of NAREI’s agro-processing facility at Hope Estate Compound. The agreement which will cater for the processing and packaging of condiments by AMJ was today signed by NAREI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Jagnarine Singh and Mr. Anand James, Chairman of AMJ in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Regent Street Office.
The promotion of agro-processing has been a priority of the Ministry of Agriculture and over the years, NAREI has been advocating maximum use of agricultural produce for domestic and export purpose. In the bid to advance this cause, this is one such area the Ministry of Agriculture has been advancing.
The MOU was inked in the presence of Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj and Chairman of the Board of Directors of NAREI, Major General Ret’d Joseph Singh, who lauded the efforts of the two entities in taking agro-processing and value-added to a next level in an effort to improve the viability of the local agro-processing industry.
“In excess of $800 million have been earmarked for the establishment of six agro-processing facilities across the country, as the development of the industry remains a top priority of the Government of Guyana and by extension the Ministry of Agriculture,” Mr. Ramraj said.
The Director General noted that while efforts are being made to ensure that all the necessary infrastructure and opportunities are made available to farmers and agro-processors, it is imperative that the condiments produced remain at a high standard and to the satisfaction of the household.
Earlier this year, Agriculture Minister, Hon Zulfikar Mustapha announced the development of a robust market strategy which will cater for farmers and agro-processors to be linked to lucrative markets both locally and internationally. He added that for this to be realized, it would require the completion of market research and the use of e-marketing/e-commerce platforms through public-private partnerships.
The Government of Guyana’s investment in agro-processing is aligned with the global agenda to ensure sustainability of the world food system and according to the Minister of Agriculture, “In light of growing threats such as climate change and other factors which have resulted in continued food loss and wastage, this is necessary”.
The year 2021 has been branded the year of Fruits and Vegetables and as such the Ministry of Agriculture is in the process of implementing its Food and Nutrition Security programme in which Agro-processing plays a significant role.
AMJ- a Jamaican Company is an international agro-processing conglomerate with markets globally. The primary interest of the business is the manufacturing of spices and seasonings, peppers and eschallot.
Also present at the signing ceremony was General Manager of Hope Estate, Mr. Rickey Roopchand and Corporate Secretary of NAREI’s Board of Directors, Ms. Towanda Clarke.