‘Essequibo Night’ opening doors

─ persons with disabilities, small entrepreneurs capitalise on expo

─ event biggest to date- REO Jaikaran

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Persons with disabilities and other small entrepreneurs from the Pomeroon/Supenaam capitalised on one of the biggest events held each year – ‘Essequibo Night’. The exhibition, which forms part of the Regional Agricultural and Commercial Exhibition (RACE), is being held at the Anna Regina Community Centre Ground.

The exhibition created a space for small entrepreneurs to showcase what they have to offer. A group from the ‘Differently-abled Centre’ seized the opportunity to showcase their agro-processed products.

The group had previously participated in a food preservation programme. Through this initiative, they made achar, pepper sauce, mixed fruits, and pickles, among others, under the supervision of facilitator Glynis Streete.

Seventy-year-old Collette Dainty who is visually impaired, said having participated in the programme, she now has new-found independence and was happy to be a part of ‘Essequibo Night’.

“I am feeling really happy, I am proud of us that we can be out here,” Dainty said. The elderly woman said she has big plans for the event in 2020. “Come next year, we will be here again with more of our products,” an enthusiastic Dainty said.

Lloyd Griffith, who is also visually impaired, echoed Dainty’s sentiments. Griffith made it clear that their presence at the exhibition is an indication that they are as capable as everyone else.

“It is a good feeling because it shows that persons with disabilities have abilities and we can do things that other people can do and the fact that the products are on display, it speaks wonders for us,” he stated.

Regional Executive Officer, Denis Jaikaran, said that this year’s exhibition is the biggest to date. Jaikaran said that the initiative, which began back in 2016, will help to boost economic activity within the region.

“It keeps growing year after year; more agencies are participating, they have an opportunity to improve on their style of display, the number of products and the number of items they would have brought to us,” Jaikaran said.

As the event grows, the REO said, “it is going to have a multiplying effect, and that multiplying effect is going to cause us in a very special way to have a greater partnership with both the public and private sector.”

The exposition featured approximately 100 small and well-established businesses showcasing their services of technology, beverages, food, agriculture, consultancy, financial, household among others. Together with local vendors, some of the larger exhibitors included Massy Industries Limited, Imam Bacchus and Sons Limited, Sueria Manufacturing Incorporated, University of Guyana, Guyana School of Agriculture, Guyana Rice Development Board, Ministry of Agriculture; Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NARIE) among others.

There was a large turnout of diverse groups of people participating in the activities, visiting the booths, purchasing, enquiring and learning about the services offered. The exhibition ends on November 2, 2019, and is being held under the theme’ Sustainable Agriculture for Ensuring Food Safety in a Green Economy.”

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