$10M crab and fish processing facility for Smith Creek, – Morawhanna and Imbotero residents’ welcome initiative

DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The selling of crab and fish is the main source of income for residents of Smith Creek, Morawhanna and Imbotero in Region One and plans to establish of a processing facility will allow them to add value to their catch.

The $10M crab and fish processing facility will be constructed in Smith Creek and supported by Morawhanna and Imbotero.

Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe during a meeting at Smith Creek noted that the undertaking is in keeping with an objective of the Ministry of developing small industries in the hinterland regions that provides a source of income for residents. “You need to be able to get the opportunity to earn your own money like everyone else” the Minister stated.

She noted that the Ministry is carrying out a similar venture in the Morcua in the region. In a move to redevelop the coffee industry in the Sub-District, the Ministry recently launched a $10M ground coffee project in the community. Twelve farmers were selected to each plant an acre of coffee for what is intended to be a “family-oriented project” producing ground Robusta Coffee.

Minister Garrido-Lowe observed that the crab and fish processing factory will resolve the challenges residents face in finding a market for their excess stock not sold at the local market. The residents catch would often be sold at Kumaka Market but most often significant portions remains unsold and have gone to waste.

The residents were given three weeks to find a suitable location on which to construct the facility.

The Minister explained to the resident that they will also receive technical support from the Fisheries Department towards making the facility operational. She underscored that the training is to ensure that the operations of the facility are in keeping with international standards. “You have to have international standards if we want to sell our crab meat and fish meat; we have to have everything hygienic,” she explained.

The initiative was widely welcomed by residents of the communities.

Marlon Jerome of Imbetero said that he cannot wait for the project to come on board and is prepared to work “hand-in-hand” with the other two communities.

Ganesh Sookdeo of Smith Creek noted that the facility would be very beneficial. “It will help a lot of old people, children, and everybody could own a little money to send their children to school and do other things,” he noted.

Other small industries venture successful executed by the Ministry is the Pakaraimas Flavour project. This value-added project centred on the village of Paramakatoi and surrounding communities of Bamboo Creek and Mountain Foot, located deep in the Pakaraima Highlands, in Region Eight focus on the production of Organic Sundried Tomatoes and Salad Dressings.

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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