THE construction of agro-processing facilities at Maruranau and Bina Hill, Annai, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, are on stream to be completed by year-end.
Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, told DPI that the projects were temporarily halted because of the unavailability of funds and inclement weather. The facilities at Maruranau ($10M) and Bina Hill ($15M) form part of the ministry’s 2019 capital programme.
Some $60M of the ministry’s $1.9B allocation was set aside for investment in innovative and sustainable income-generating projects. Other initiatives included fruit farms in Paurima Region Seven ($3M) and Santa Cruz, Region One ($3M); a lapidary at Monkey Mountain, Region Eight ($5M), and an eco-tourism project in Karasabai, Region Nine ($2M).
An additional $16M was allocated for the cassava flour processing factory in Kwebana, $6M for the installation of a solar system at the crab processing facility at Smith’s Creek, and $15M for the construction of the ground coffee processing facility at Santa Rosa.
Another $235.3M was allocated for community projects in 215 villages under the Presidential Grants programme. These ventures were aimed at creating employment and income in hinterland communities to raise the standard of living of the nation’s first peoples and boost the independence of their communities.