Farmers to get financial assistance as SBB launches workshop

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Small Business Bureau, Mohamed Ibrahim

Farmers and agro-processors will soon be able to expand their businesses by contributing to Guyana’s agriculture sector as the Small Business Bureau (SBB) in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) launched their first Envision Equity workshop on Monday.

The two-day workshop which is being hosted at the Ramada Princess Hotel, Providence specifically targets persons within the two fields.

It is aimed at allowing coconut farmers and agro-processors to access loans from the two entities, and their partnered financial institutions such as Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) and Republic Bank.

The workshop targets over 40 farmers and agro-processors from Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SBB, Mohamed Ibrahim, told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that this meeting is to help farmers advance their businesses, especially in the marketing area.

“We have known and we have taken very seriously the President’s vision for promoting agriculture in this country. So, because of that, we have put together this specialised workshop to deal with agro-processors,” Ibrahim said.

He explained that the session will take a comprehensive approach where each farmer will be given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives from the SBB, ITC, and the two banks to have further financial discussions.

“So, this one-on-one workshop will help them (farmers) to develop their business plan, develop their agro-processing plan, their facilities, and teach them how they can access guaranteed financing in a much easier and practical manner,” the CEO posited.

Meanwhile, ITC’s Coordinator, Raymond Trotz explained that the centre aims to see the coconut industry revitalised.

“The purpose of this programme is to raise the industry back to what it was in the 50s, 60’s and to modernise it…There is a programme called the Alliances for Coconut Industry Development in the Caribbean. It is sponsored by the European Union and CARIFORUM but it is being administered by the ITC in collaboration with the Caribbean Research and Development Institute (CARDI). There are several aspects of the programme which include marketing and that’s why we are here today,” Trotz explained.

In relation to the Alliances for Coconut Industry Development, the coordinator said that he deems the workshop necessary because it allows for the development of the coconut industry along a value chain, which is from production, to processing to marketing. [DPI]