Fairview’s sawmill project to provide job opportunities for villagers
– Minister Sukhai commends initiative
Minister of Amerindian Affairs, Pauline Sukhai, MP, said she is pleased with the move by the Fairview Village Council in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) to use its community stimulus grant to establish a sawmill.
Following the 2020 budget, the government had set aside funds for Amerindian villages to invest in long-term projects, providing opportunities for villagers to continue earning a livelihood during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Fairview, a community over 400 persons, the village council decided that a project in the forestry sector would be the best to pursue.
Toshao Bradford Allicock told DPI that the $10 million the village received from the government in 2020 will be used for the project.
“We’ve been under a long discussion concerning what project we need so that everybody can be a beneficiary of that grant. We came up with putting a proposal for a wood-mizer that would able for us to do logging within the community so that males and females could be employed within the logging area.”
The village has 22,000 hectares of tropical forest, 15,000 of which has been allocated for logging.
Minister Sukhai in a recent visit to Fairview, congratulated the village council for the wise investment. She noted that other villages could use Fairview as ahow to properly utilise the funds provided by the government.
“That is what we are looking for, where villages can sit and they can come up with enterprises that will provide jobs; provide income to those who are employed and for the village fund to receive a percentage. And therefore now, you will have everything in place when you get your (wood) mizer. You may need … training in different things, but you have your truck that can fetch the lumber when it is dressed, you have the tractor that can pull the logs.”
The minister said there should be no gender barrier in the village project, noting that in Micobie, the women are operating the wood-mizer.
There will also be spin-off benefits from the investment. These include providing fish, farine and other staples to loggers.
Minister Sukhai said she is looking forward to the economic upliftment of Fairview from the project.
Other villages plan to establish village shops, dairy farms and crop agriculture as their long-term sustainable business ventures.
The government continues to give special attention to Amerindian villages, especially those in far-flung and remote areas during the Covid -19 pandemic, as opportunities for persons there are fewer than persons living on the coast.