“Govt. has not forgotten Berbice” – Minister Gaskin

DPI, GUYANA, Saturday, October 07, 2017

The anticipated Berbice Expo 2017 opened last evening at the Albion Community Development Centre in Corentyne Berbice. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, during brief remarks reminded Berbicians that the government has not forgotten them.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin addressing the gathering at the opening of Berbice Expo 2017.

The Minister recalled that in 2017 the government has allocated over $500M towards the development of the region which is more than what was budgeted for all other regions.

Minister Gaskin said agriculture has always been and will continue to be a key industry and the driver of economic growth in Guyana. He observed that Berbice is one of the largest productive agricultural regions in the country that can yield more crops for the export market. A crucial factor in the development of Guyana’s economy.

The Business Minister expressed his anticipation for working with the region to promote investment, exports, value-added activities and tourism.

Meanwhile, Regional Chairman, David Armmogan opined that the theme is relevant since “agriculture would have to be the saviour of Berbice.”

Armogan explained that agriculture in the region is sporadic and slowly disappearing and there must be an agricultural development plan to save it.

“We will have to ensure that we secure food for people in this region, the country, and eventually become the breadbasket of the Caribbean here… All is not lost. But we must work hard together and contribute to the development plan.”

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin and President, Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, Mohamed Raffik, checking out the Guyana Rice Development Board booth at the opening of Berbice Expo 2017.

The Regional Chairman also advised that agro-businesses be established and the government provide farms to market, roads, access to low-interest financing, tax exemption and secure markets, which he believes will bolster the agriculture sector.

Mohamed Raffik, President of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, indicated that preparations for the exposition began three months ago and the hard work has paid off since the entire space is sold out to over 100 businesses. “It’s not an easy task to run this expo but we did it. We tried to make it better than last year,” he explained.

The audience attending the opening night was entertained with dancing, steelpan drumming and several games for children.

The exposition is being held under the theme “Ensuring food security and economic growth through agricultural development.”

Also present were Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, Mayor of New Amsterdam Winifred and Head of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar among others.

 

By: Ranetta La Fleur

A section of the gathering at the opening of Berbice Expo 2017.

 

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