25 Rupununi small-scale agro-processors benefit from marketing materials

― GO-Invest, GMC and SBB collaborate to host workshop

― this is a significant way to embrace the efforts of small scale agro-processors – GMC Officer

― agro-processors guided on ways to showcase their products; eye Rodeo, export to regions, shelves in supermarkets

DPI, Guyana, Friday, April 19, 2019

Twenty-five (25) ago-processors in Lethem benefitted from business promo items such as banners and business cards; packaging (containers) and labels with barcodes for their products.

The agro-processors were part of a workshop hosted by the Small Business Bureau (SBB) in collaboration with Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and the Ministry of Agriculture’s New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC).

The focus of the workshop was to enlighten the participants on the requirements of packing and labelling of products.

According to GMC’s Agriculture Business Development Officer, Johan David, this is a significant way to embrace the efforts of small scale agro-processors.

“In conceptualising this workshop, we thought it best to outfit them with absolutely everything they need to make the best presentation at the Rodeo, which is one of the widely attended yearly activities in the region… We gave them these things on a flash drive also, so that even after we are gone, they would be able to replicate these things for themselves.”

The workshop foresees way beyond the rodeo, where these products will be exported out the region to other parts of the country, making it onto the shelves of supermarkets.

“Information shared at the workshop was directed as to how agro-processors can market their products and export it… Because Rodeo is coming up, we know that the agro-processors from the Rupununi area are going to come out to exhibit their products… We know that they have these small women’s groups doing agro-processing out of their houses, so we want to bring them up a little bit because most of them are just doing it and selling it,” emphasised Uchenna Gibson, Senior Export Promotion Officer, GO-Invest.

Several topics were also discussed to gear the agro-processors toward exporting and marketing of their products. These include good manufacturing practices, documentation, licensing and registration of a business.

There was a need for this type of business education in the hinterland, hence the initiative to take the workshop in the region.

Feedback on the training was garnered from Jorna Peters, owner of J&W Natural Products began her agro-processing business in 2017. She sells farine, cassava bread, honey, crabwood oil, tapioca among other natural products. “This training has given me a new start in labelling my products and ensuring I get the nutrient facts of the product.”

Leoni Sears, a Small Business prospect is now excited to move ahead with starting and establishing her business. She previously had many questions regarding the start-up of a small business. “The most interesting part of the training for me was the information on business registration, certification and compliance with the food and drug act.”

Sears is originally from Aishalton but plans to open a small agro-processing business in Lethem as she recognised the growing population in the town.

“This has encouraged me to go ahead and do the business that I want to do; it’s in dried fruits and to some extent herbals. It’s a business my sister, and I are starting, so I have been doing my research, and the workshop has thought me the process I would go through to reach where I want to go.”

This is just the beginning for these agro-processors. With the continued efforts of the Small Business Bureau (SBB), the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-Invest) and the Ministry of Agriculture’s New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), similar initiative can be expected to encourage local agro-processors to develop their products with the eye of getting it on international markets.

Delicia Haynes.

Images: Leon Leung.

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