DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 20, 2018
The West Demerara Proactive Women Producers Cooperative Society, in Stanleytown, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), dedicated its $4.6m salt fish processing facility today.
The West Demerara Proactive Women Producers Cooperative Society fish salt fish processing facility, located at Stanleytown, Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara).
The project, which was funded under the government’s Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Development (SLED) programme, saw the completion of the building, procurement of a dryer and other equipment. The women also benefitted from training and other support from the Cooperatives Department and the Region Three’s Regional Administration.
At the dedication ceremony, Chairperson of the West Demerara Proactive Women Producers Cooperatives Society, Loraine Hooper explained that the group began with four members. However, other women soon indicated their interest to join. Once fully operational, she anticipates that at least 40 women within the Stanleytown community will be actively involved in the project.
Hooper noted that, “the Government of Guyana has made a statement. They are saying that women will be the primary focus in this country and this is a testimony to that because this project was funded through the Government. We were funded through the SLED project and we are very grateful.”
Regional Executive Officer (REO), Denis Jaikran commended the women for bringing the project to realisation and encouraged them to make full use of the facility. “What is important is how we use this building hereafter; to make that decision of what training is going to take place here…so that we can train other persons. So, I want to commend all the persons of the group”, Jaikran stated.
The REO expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Social Protection for choosing Stanleytown as one of the first communities to benefit from such a project in the region. Jaikran added that the group will be used a model for others in the region.
The West Demerara Proactive Women Producers Cooperative Society was formed in 2017, following a training exercise through the Office of the First Lady. They were tasked with creating a project that will see them utilising their skills gained while creating employment for the women in the community.
The facility will be officially launched within a month.
The SLED initiative is designed to provide support for the expansion of the local economy in communities across the nation and to aid small enterprises with the goal of stimulating youth employment. The salt fish processing facility is run by one of 19 groups across the country that benefitted from the programme in 2017, at a cost of approximately $100M.