The cattle industry in Guyana is poised for significant improvement with the imminent completion of a state-of-the-art $600 million abattoir facility in Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice, Region Five. This transformative project, funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is already 80 per cent complete and is expected to be operational within just two months.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, on Saturday inspected the facility and expressed his satisfaction with the progress made so far.
The new abattoir will not only modernise Guyana’s meat processing capabilities but also bring it up to international standards. This will open up new markets for Guyana’s beef, boosting the income of cattle farmers and creating valuable employment opportunities.
“This abattoir will be one of the main slaughtering areas for cattle in the country. I think that this is situated in an ideal place where people form Regions Four, Five, Six and other regions can use it. I think that this, here, is poised for major development for the beef industry,” the agriculture minister underlined.
This initiative will also aid in the reduction of meat importation.
Minister Mustapha added that the state-of-the-art facility will supplement the efforts the government has been making over the years to increase meat production.
Government had imported some 64 hybrid breeding bulls in 2022 to further improve the breed of animal in the country.
The current project will include an inter-link process since it will have a sedimentation pond that will receive all of the waste.
Minister Mustapha outlined, “And when the water filters, there, it will come into the drainage system, but at the same time, those waste can be used as manure for the agriculture sector…We are doing slaughtering of animals, but at the same time, we are using the by-products to increase production in the agriculture sector.”
The agriculture minister revealed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be inked shortly with Columbia to commence investment in the local cattle industry.
“We have some major investors, especially one from Colombia, who wants to start investment in 1,000 cattle for beef production. So, this, augurs well for us for the future and will help us tremendously to increase food security in the region,” he pointed out.
The ministry is currently working along with the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission and the Mahaica, Mahaicony, Abary (MMA) area to identify some lands for this initiative. “We have received the proposal and I am looking at some lands.They asked for 1,000 acres. So, if we could get it through lands and survey, then, they will have the investment. But it is a good investment proposal…where they will be putting down processing plants to process dairy products right in the area, they will be rearing these cows. So, I am looking forward for that investment,” Minister Mustapha disclosed.