White Water Creek to get $25M agro-processing facility
Some 250 households in White Water Creek and surrounding villages in Region One will benefit from the commissioning of a spanking new $25 million agro-processing facility.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha made the announcement on Wednesday, day three of the National Toshaos Council (NTC) Conference 2023, at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal.
The government’s push for Guyanese to grow and produce what they consume daily prompted the establishment of the food processing facility.
When it is operationalised, farmers will be able to advance their operations to a more commercialised value-added production and achieve sustainable economic growth through agro-processing.
This will ensure that products, including cassava bread, farine, and cassareep will have easier access to markets.
“That is why in hinterland communities now, we are building an agro-processing facility. I am happy to report that in White Water. I will commission one very shortly. One was commissioned recently in the Deep South. St. Ignatius has one. We will do another one in Region Nine and Mabaruma will have one,” Minister Mustapha stated.
He explained that agro-processing increases household income and creates new potential for export revenue by adding value to basic agricultural produce.
“We want you to not only produce primary products, but we want you to add value to your products,” the agriculture minister stressed.
Over 12 agro-processing facilities have been established in Regions One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Nine, and Ten.
Over 2,500 farmers, agro-processors, wholesalers and retailers now have access to certified agro-processing facilities in their regions.
Crabwood Creek and Orealla communities in Region Six will also benefit from the construction of processing facilities.
With the commissioning of a $14 million agro-processing facility earlier this month, over 200 Karaudarnau Village, Region Nine farmers now have the opportunity to add value to their produce.
Meanwhile, a $37 million state-of-the-art food processing factory commissioned at Fort Wellington in West Coast Berbice is benefitting about 700 persons from both Regions Five and Six.
In November 2022, a $15 million agro-processing factory was opened in St. Ignatius, Region Nine for farmers to process their peanuts and cashew nuts.
Due to the large expenditures made in these sectors, the export revenue from agriculture-processed goods brought in $897 million for the nation, with a 61 per cent rise in export volume from 1,071 metric tonnes in 2021 to 1,724 metric tonnes in 2022.