400 small business grants, co-investment ventures on the cards for Region Six – Vice President
Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo today announced that the PPP/C administration will be providing 400 small business grants ranging from $200,000 to $250,000 to Region Six, as another measure to generate jobs and revitalise economic activities there.
He was addressing residents at a meeting hosted at the Line Path Community Centre Ground, Skeldon.
Region Six was the hardest hit from the APNU+AFC’s closure of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) estates, which saw over 7,000 sugar workers losing their jobs.
Dr. Jagdeo related to the massive crowd, government’s intent to partner with private cane farmers to utilise some 12, 000 acres of land for production of various crops, which is currently being explored.
This follows a meeting earlier in the day with the farmers at the Classic Hotel Banquet Hall, Skeldon.
The Vice President related, “Now frankly speaking I did not realise it’s so many people in the co-ops and they told me it’s close to 700 persons but they have 12,000 acres of land that they can put back into production very soon, if they get support.”
Within two weeks a proposal would be prepared, which government will examine to determine the feasibility of such an initiative.
This forms part of government’s co-investment initiative which will see partnerships with the private sector to create employment opportunities. Similar initiatives were announced in Regions Two and Ten during the VP’s recent outreaches to those regions.
Residents were then updated on another plan to open up approximately 6,000 acres of land for cultivation, as the administration continues to aggressively look at ways of generating jobs in the region, which has one of the largest populations in the country.
The Vice President added that, “So we are going to return to some sugar production in the area, but on a smaller scale. We plan to also utilise some of the land for high end aquaculture in Berbice, we see a major potential to grow shrimp for export.”
As it relates to the very lucrative hemp industry which government has announced its intention to tap into, the VP noted that, “And then in a couple or maybe a month or two, we’ll pass new legislation to grow hemp in the country, industrial hemp… So they use the hemp to make fibre, the rope, they use it to make clothing, oils, soap, a whole range of stuff when they’re processing them. And it’s very, very expensive and we have the right soil in these areas.
” So we are looking here, [Regions] Six and 10 to grow the hemp and to get a major investor to buy it from the farmers.”
The Vice President reiterated the industry’s potential to create thousands of jobs.
On Sunday, the VP announced that 3,000 part-time government jobs will be available in the region within the next three weeks to supplement the income of families.
Residents were also given the opportunity to raise a number of concerns, which the VP committed to addressing through the various ministries and agencies.