Regional ferry service to operate out of Parika
An aerial view of the Parika Stelling (Photo Credit: Kenny Seeraj)
An aerial view of the Parika Stelling (Photo Credit: Kenny Seeraj)

–Bonasika, other Region Three farmers to tap into lucrative markets
–processing facility to be built to export ginger, other crops


FARMERS in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) will soon be able to tap into lucrative markets, as the government has disclosed plans for a regional ferry service to operate out of Parika, which is already a major port.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali revealed this on Tuesday during a community engagement with residents in Bonasika Creek, a farming community in Region Three.
The ferry service, which is a collaborative initiative among the Governments of Guyana, Trinidad &Tobago and Barbados, is intended to promote enhanced trade within the Caribbean Community [CARICOM] as it seeks to slash its food import expenditure by 25 per cent by 2025.

“The conversation is changing now. It’s not only about how we are producing food, it is how we now translate production into storage; add transportation to it, create higher value and access to more markets,” the President said.

He added: “We know that agriculture, food production is going to be valuable, profitable and competitive, and we are investing in infrastructure to give you the best possible life in food production and agriculture.”

In Bonasika Creek, food production has increased with farmers yielding massive traditional and high-valued crops.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali engaging residents of Bonasika Creek (Office of the President Photo)

According to the President, the community is producing about 240,000 pounds of ginger annually. But the issue, however, is that farmers are unable to access larger markets for their produce.
To remedy this and provide much more support to farmers, the Head of State announced plans to construct a processing facility at Bonasika.

“We are going build, in this area, a processing facility, so we can take the fresh ginger; so we can dry it, crush it… So, we will extend the storage time from weeks to months, and access higher-valued market with the ginger,” Dr. Ali said.

This, complemented by the regional ferry service, will see farmers accessing regional markets.

However, the President said that farmers would have to be cognisant of this development, and set fair prices for local consumers.

With the production of fruits, vegetables and ground provision also expected to increase in Bonasika Creek and other Region Three communities, President Ali said that it would viable to have the regional ferry service operate out of Parika.

Back in January, CARI Cargo Inc., the company responsible for regional ferry service, was incorporated.

The Galleons Passage, a vessel from Trinidad and Tobago, will ply the route. Operations will commence between Guyana and Trinidad initially, with plans to extend services to Barbados.
President Ali had previously highlighted that there are ongoing discussions for a specialised ferry service with Aruba, catering specifically to the transportation of agricultural produce.

Given Guyana’s strategic geographical location on South America’s edge, it stands as the shortest and most cost-effective route for Brazilian exports through the Panama Canal.

Highlighting Guyana’s potential as a major transport hub, President Ali envisions the country becoming the gateway between South America and the world, unlocking vast opportunities for investments and trade.


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