Lethem Business Incubator providing many opportunities for residents
–Over 500 teabags produced to date at the agro-processing facility
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce – Small Business Bureau (SBB) is actively developing ways to support small business owners to improve their lives, while boosting the economy.
The residents from communities in Region Nine now have the opportunity to utilise the services being offered at the Lethem Business Incubator Centre and the machines to manufacture a plethora of products at its agro-processing facility.
In a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), the centre’s Manager, Trudy McCurchin, disclosed that the facility is open for operation and welcomes as many entrepreneurs across the region.
Highlighting some of the successes, McCurchin said residents have been manufacturing teabags at the agro-processing facility at the incubator, producing over 500 tea bags to date.
Among the tea bags being produced include sorrel, lemon grass, lime, lemon, and pear leaves.
“The equipment we have in that section includes dehydrators where you can dry the leaves or herbs that you want to make tea from. There is a mulcher, after you dry these leaves, you can put it in that machine to grade it to however size you want. Then, you have the actual teabag machine, which will package off those mulch herbs into a satchel,” she explained.
The facility also has a root-tuber peeler for washing and peeling ground provisions, a farine processing machine, two tea bag packaging machines, graters, and filling machines.
“We have business pods [office space] geared towards persons in the activity of agro-processing. So, if you make like farine or achar, you can come and utilise the agro-processing section, or even rent a pod to display and provide public service in Region Nine,” McCurchin added.
She highlighted that these ventures have helped to create job opportunities and spur development in the region.
“Currently, the government is not charging any cost to utilise these machines. We are pushing very hard for persons to utilise these machines. Because at the end of the day, it is value-added production. We are moving to a different stage and we are seeing a lot of visitors coming to the region. And they are demanding more of our local products,” McCurchin stated.
Meanwhile, other items being manufactured include porridge products from cassava, plantain, eddoes, and ripe banana and the dehydration of pineapples, and five fingers and mangoes to produce chips.