Min Bharrat urges Rupununi residents to start small businesses to boost economy

Rupununi residents were on Friday urged to establish value-added businesses in emerging sectors to rake in additional revenue and boost development in their respective communities.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat made the appeal as he engaged residents of Potarinau and neighbouring villages in Region Nine, as part of a two-day outreach led by President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali.

Minister Vickram Bharrat speaking to residents of Potarinau and neighbouring villages in Region 9 on Friday

The minister pointed out that as a result of the government’s strategic and forward-thinking approach to development, significant investments are being directed to every sector, triggering phenomenal growth.

This is evident in the expansion of infrastructure, education access, and enhancements in healthcare delivery.

As a result, the minister said it is important that Guyanese take advantage of these improvements and tap into the country’s economic boom.

“[With] the expanded economy and the new businesses that we have in the country today, we want to encourage you here in the Rupununi to start value-added businesses,” he stated.

The government has spoken extensively on the critical need for more value-added businesses to drive economic growth.

Such ventures promote increased competitiveness and job creation, paving the way for a diversified and more sustainable economy. 

Speaking specifically about the forestry sector, which falls under his portfolio, the minister said the villages can establish joinery shops to manufacture furniture, reducing their reliance on other regions.  

He pledged the support of the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) in realising this vision.

“We here in the Rupununi should not be buying school furniture from any other region, because we can manufacture it right here. I think that is a challenge that the toshaos should take up,” the minister said.

He added, “We are willing to work with you…like we are doing in Region 10 communities, to set up small joinery shops and to train people so that you can work in these shops and manufacture your furniture right here in Region nine.”

He encouraged the villagers to invest the funds garnered through the Low Carbon Development Strategy into value-added ventures such as these to boost their sustainability.

“Use the revenue that you are getting from the Low Carbon Development Strategy wisely and to have more economic activities within your communities. We as government, are willing to work with you. We want to develop and strengthen this partnership that we already have,” Minister Bharrat said.