With the oil and gas industry paving the way for Guyana’s development, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin has reiterated the importance of other sectors in the country’s economy, primarily the agricultural and agro-processing sectors.This announcement was made at the launch of Marketplace Uncapped, an exhibition aimed at promoting the products of local manufacturers in Guyana.During his address, Minister Gaskin stressed on the significance of understanding how greatly the agricultural sector affected the country and the opportunities that were possible from Guyana’s growing agro-processing industry.“It’s important to note that our government sees the agricultural and agro-processing sector as priority sectors, because we too understand that long after the oil has been extracted and there’s no more left, we still need to eat and feed others,” he stated.Some of the locally-manufactured productsCurrently, the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) is working with small-scale manufacturers to highlight their businesses. While the use of quality ingredients is a requirement, packaging also plays an important role in gaining the customers’ attention. As such, Gaskin encouraged local producers to have their items featured at exhibitions to improve in these areas.The Minister revealed, “Our job is not to criticise those whose packaging is not that attractive, but to help them appreciate the need to not only compete on the basis of your ingredients, but on how well you package and how attractive your product is – when it is lined up on the supermarket shelf next to imported products and other products.”“We’re also trying to help smaller producers who don’t yet understand the benefit of packaging, ensuring that their goods are properly packaged and labelled,” he said.While adding that employment was created for farmers by small business ventures, Gaskin also emphasised the fact that Guyana’s import bill has been reduced, stating: “All these things are good for farmers, because we know that we import these foods. Every year, there is a high import bill that we have to face and if we can produce them locally and process them locally and make them available for local consumption, then we’re ahead of the game.”During his remarks, Minister Gaskin also touched on the fact that Guyana no longer exported catfish to the United States of America (USA). This is in light of the non-compliance with the United States Food Safety Modernisation Act, which he thinks should be fulfilled urgently. The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) is collaborating with the University of Hawaii on educational programmes, which will assist with compliance on these requirements.“It doesn’t help us to sit down and attributing blame to each other. What we need to figure out: what needs to be done, what are the requirements, how can we help each other to achieve these requirements,” he stated.Presently, the Agriculture Ministry has embarked on a sustainable agricultural plan, which is financed through a US$15 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank and is expected to impact the agricultural sector in a tremendous way. Spices such as turmeric and black pepper are also being cultivated in various areas in Region One (Barima-Waini). Additionally, the Business Ministry is working on two incubators, in Berbice and Lethem, which will assist small operators.While these are all systems that were put in place to diversify and develop the country’s agro-processing industry, the Business Minister, in his final comments, highlighted that for the sector to emerge victorious, consumers must patronise these businesses and buy the products, which are no less of good quality than imported products.
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Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:29Giannis Antetokounmpo powers Bucks in bounce back win over Celtics00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Antetokounmpo overcame a slow start from the field to hit two key buckets in the final three-plus minutes, and Khris Middleton led a balanced attack with 21 points as Milwaukee improved to 9-2 under interim coach Joe Prunty.They’re a threat again for a top-four playoff seed in the East.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“When everything is judged on those last three minutes, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to win,” said Antetokounmpo, who had 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 15 rebounds.Dennis Schroder scored 18 points for the Hawks, and Ersan Ilyasova had nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. Ilyasova spearheaded a late rally in which Atlanta erased a 12-point deficit and tied it at 84 on Kent Bazemore’s 3-pointer with 3:30 left. Antetokounmpo answered with a mid-range jumper and layup to open an 8-0 run following a timeout. Schroder and Bazemore then whiffed on open layups following a steal with less than a minute left that could have helped the Hawks mount one last comeback.“It’s guys making plays, that’s what it came down to. Making the extra effort, trying to get to the right spot defensively to close out,” Prunty said.Better defense has lifted the Bucks since Prunty replaced the fired Jason Kidd on Jan. 22. They’ve held opponents to less than 100 points eight times during Prunty’s 11-game tenure.While the Bucks are thinking about the playoffs, the Hawks are building for their long-term future. They’ll pull out a few positives from challenging a playoff contender on the road.“We’ve kind of stopped looking at records and the standings,” Bazemore said. “Our coach and our front office likes the nucleus we have here, we’re all growing … it’s getting the pieces in place, getting the experience and we continue to push.”TIP-INSADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Read Next AFP official booed out of forum Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton, left, is fouled by Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Darren Hauck)MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks looked sluggish at times coming back from a four-game trip, and the worst team in the Eastern Conference was threatening to knock them off at home.All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo led one last charge to help the Bucks hold on for a 97-92 win on Tuesday night over the Atlanta Hawks.ADVERTISEMENT Olympic figure skating unveils new, modern soundtrack Hawks: Second in the league at forcing turnovers (15.8 per game), Atlanta got the Bucks to cough up the ball just 10 times. … Bazemore had 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting.Bucks: Forward Jabari Parker played 18 minutes and scored seven points after missing the previous game for rest. He has shown flashes of the explosiveness that made him a dangerous player before missing a year after suffering the second major left knee injury of his career on Feb. 8, 2017. At one point in the first half, Parker ripped down a rebound before dribbling nearly the length of the court and dishing near the bucket after drawing a double team.ZELLER’S NEW HOMETyler Zeller had 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting and eight rebounds in his first game in Milwaukee since joining the team on the road before the trade deadline last week.“It was actually kind of nice being on the road for the first five or six days, I could not worry about getting an apartment … or anything like that. I could just focus on basketball,” Zeller said.ON THE RUNA 14-2 run in the third quarter for the Bucks briefly broke open what had been a ho-hum game marked by questionable shot selection and bad misses on both sides. Middleton’s jumper with 2:58 left completed the spurt and lifted Milwaukee to a 65-53 lead.“Besides the third quarter and a couple of situations late, I thought our defense was really improving and getting to the point where we want it to be,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said.UP NEXTHawks: Finish up the second half of a back-to-back by visiting the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in their last game before the All-Star break.Bucks: Host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday in their last game before the break.