GUYANA’S agricultural sector has on board an international company with a multi-million-dollar investment, providing more international impetus, farming experience and techniques and crop diversification for local farmers and markets. This will be parallelled with employment opportunity for many locals. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, paying a visit to the Bornion Guyana Inc. test farm on Saturday at Kairuni, on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway lauded the company for its confidence, and welcomed the technical expertise that it brings to Guyana.
He also expressed optimism in this venture, noting that it will have a remarkable, positive impact on the local agriculture sector.
“They bring their experience and the important thing is that their experience motivates them to see what is possible, where, maybe many times, we can’t see because we haven’t had that experience,” PM Hinds said. He also explained that the agriculture sector will not be the only beneficiary of their investments, but all of Guyana.
“The sector motivates them to make the kind of investment that would be required to lay in the infrastructure, roads, drains and irrigation canals, and it’s quite a significant investment for Guyana,” he said.
He urged the investors to pave their way around hiccups and gain local experience, since that will be pivotal to their success.
A Memorandum of Understanding between Bornion Guyana Inc., and the Government of Guyana was signed on September 6, 2012, thereby paving the way for the company to set up shop in Guyana.
Bornion, a subsidiary of the Malaysian Wee Boon Ping Group of Companies, has expressed interest in bio-energy, following the opening of the bio-ethanol demonstration plant at Albion, Region Six. The company is mainly interested in palm oil for bio-fuel production and producing other nutritious crops. Among its crops to be cultivated in the Canje Basin, where it has been leased land, are rubber, citrus, palm oil, dragon fruit, sugar cane, tomatoes and other cash crops and avocado.
Many local crops that are already being cultivated will be brought on board as well. The company also boasts 100 percent organic production. In this initial stage of two-and- a -half years, the company has invested approximately US$1M on testing feasibility of the production of these envisioned produce at Kairuni, on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway. They are expecting to spend a further US$500M over the next decade on implementation.
The initial results from these feasibility studies are encouraging, according to the Administrative and Financing head of the company, Gavin Sing. He also noted pointed that an international investment of this magnitude opens up Guyana’s potential to the world.
“Guyana now will be placed on the international map for the wealth of resources that we have, and to see the efforts that are placed is tremendously inspiring,” Sing said. He was also optimistic about the longevity of this project, noting that it will mean much to the Guyanese public, since the company will reach out in all ways to local farmers, through employment opportunities and assisting them to adapt and use to their benefit what the company will bring to farming practices in Guyana.
“Indeed,” he said, “it’s going to be a great opportunity for Guyanese. Guyana has been known as the breadbasket of the Caribbean, and to see that the Government and the Malaysian counterparts have taken that opportunity to take us to another step and another level… A lot of jobs will be created, and the idea of what we bring to the table will help this sector grow.”
Apart from key management officials, the company plans to recruit Guyanese to work their farms, and to provide training when necessary.
While at the test farm, the Prime Minister also took the time to participate in the significant planting of a rambutan tree. The rambutan, or lychee, is a rare fruit on the local market, and will be one of the crops the company will be feverishly pursuing. The planting of this tree will see the company moving into implementation phase for the next decade. (GINA)