Rice, sugar cannot sustain Berbice economy – Armogan

first_imgRegion Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Chairman David Armogan believes the time has come for the region to diversify its economic base since the economy cannot be sustained by two commodities. Armogan was at the time speaking at the Berbice Expo and Trade Fair which concluded on Monday evening at the Alboin Sports Complex. He noted that for two long, the Berbice economy has been depending on rice and sugar and it is time for the region’s economic base to be diversified to ensure that any decline or price adjustment in those commodities will not give the region an economic shock. “We must find new opportunities; we must look at new opportunities for development because the traditional way of doing things has to change. We are accustomed to doing things today the way our grandparents left it but the situation today is not the same and so we have to think outside of the box,” he said, adding that new ideas and non-traditional businessesLocal farmers’ produce on display at the Berbice Expois where the focus should be.The Regional Chairman recalled that two grinding sugar estates were shut, thus putting thousands on the breadline. This itself resulted in a disposable income being withdrawn, thus putting a dent into the economy and forcing many businesses to downsize.Even if the Private Sector focuses on non-traditional businesses, Government will still have its part to play. “The Government will be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that these businesses are provided with incentives so that they can come to our region and make sure that we will be able to pick up where we left off a few years ago.”Armogan explained that in Region Six, there is an abundance of resources, many of which are not being exploited. He urged that they be exploited while noting that non-traditional crops have huge markets in the Caribbean.According to Armogan, there is a big marker in the Caribbean for vegetables and fruits.“Nearly all of the countries in [the Caribbean Community] Caricom have been spending large sums of money importing food from outside of the Region.”“We expect that the New GMC [New Guyana Marketing Corporation] will come to Berbice, interact with our farmers and make sure that we will be able to move in that direction to produce for the rest of the Caribbean.Armogan related that opportunities must be created for both small and medium-size businesses. He called on Business Minister Dominic Gaskin to establish a branch of the Small Business Bureau in Region Six.Berbice Expo and Trade Fair was the 14th annual expedition organised by the Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce. The four-day Expo opened on Friday last and concluded on Monday with thousands visiting the various booths.last_img

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