GMC’s agro-processing capacity boosted with $37M investment

Guyana’s agro-processing capacity has been enhanced with a $37 million investment in the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC). This will now allow Guyana to better export fresh produce regionally, to countries such as Barbados and St. Lucia among others.

The investment saw the commissioning of six water tanks, two forklifts, four pallet jacks, five trolleys and one sewing machine at the GMC’s Sophia location.

Minister of Agriculture as he commissions the equipment commissioned for the GMC.

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha M.P, said the investment shows government’s commitment to improve agro-processing, pointing out that Guyana’s agricultural sector is taking the region by storm as government is doing all that is necessary to ensure food security.

The GMC, he said, has an important role to play in Guyana achieving food security by ensuring farmers produce is developed to value added products for export. This is one of the reasons that government, since taking office, has invested heavily through budgetary allocations to boost the agriculture sector.

“We recognise the agriculture sector as one of the most important sectors to our country’s economy, to our country’s future because without food security, you can have all the funds, and all the money in the world, but without food we have seen the problem that countries experience in the pandemic. Many countries had money, but they did not have the food to purchase. We are very fortunate that we are producing most of the food that we are consuming, and we want to move further afield to ensure that what we have now, we consolidate, we expand and we go into new production,” the agriculture minister explained.

He said, “the plan in the agriculture sector is to develop the agro-processing system to move it further afield, to have more farmers in the country involved in agro-processing, so that they could have more money for their crops and their produce. That is why we are building these facilities right across the country.”

Black Bush Polder in Region Six; Linden, Region 10; St. Ignatius and Deep South in Region Nine; Mabaruma in Region One; Parika in Region Three, and Charity and Anna Regina in Region Two are areas where such facilities are being established.

He said President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali wants Guyana to move away from only primary forms of production. Employees of the New GMC were urged by the minister to play their role to prepare farmers and agro-processors so that they could produce the product that people would demand in the near future.

Guyana has been leading the way in CARICOM’s vision of reducing its food import bill by 25% by 2025.