High investment prospects in agro-processing sector
GINA, GUYANA, Monday, September 19, 2016
The local agro-processing sector is likely to see better productivity as major prospects for investments are currently being considered. This would contribute to the local investment climate being improved.
Speaking with the Government Information Agency (GINA), Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Office for Investment (GO-INVEST), Owen Verwey underscored the important role agro-processing holds for Guyana’s economic growth.
“Agro-processing is very critical in terms of future development of this economy. We are an agriculture-based or commodity-based economy. We have very large land mass, arable land too.”
Verwey added that a number of investors, including one significant foreign investor, have submitted applications and expressions of interest for investments in agro-processing.
“We have seen applications in agro-processing from the aquaculture area right down to the traditional cash crops that Guyana has been producing; peppers, the cabbages, the leafy vegetables and those kind of areas,” the CEO explained.
Agriculture and agro-processing includes seafood and aquaculture, processing of fruit juice concentrates, pulps and vegetable flour, fresh fruits and vegetables, livestock- namely poultry, beef, mutton, pork and goat meat, among others.
Verwey pointed out that prospective investors have been conducting studies towards moving forward with proposed investments. “…there are investors interested in the market. They are actually either doing pre-feasibility, feasibility or they are doing actual business case development before they move forward in that area.”
Additionally, the agro-processing sector is expected to grow with collaborative efforts with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) to prepare agro-processing investors for the market.
Verwey stated that, “The Caribbean Development Bank together with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is completing a value-added, competitiveness study on the value-added industry, with specific focus on the agro-processing sector, and that will provide significant information for us, the industry and finances going forward.”
The value and share of processed goods and fresh fruits and vegetables exported have seen positive growth in past years.
The Government of Guyana in collaboration with the private sector is seeking to further diversify Guyana’s agriculture sector, so that the country could again be recognised as the ‘breadbasket of the Caribbean’ while increasing export markets.
GO-Invest has received applications and expressions of interest in the oil and gas sector, manufacturing, tourism, general services and Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sectors, as well.
The agriculture sector too has attracted investors in forestry and wood processing.