Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha recently met with, and appointed, members of the Board of Directors of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC) and the Hope Coconut Industries Limited.
During the meetings, Minister Mustapha informed the new boards of the task ahead and of Government’s commitment to working with the boards to achieve their new mandates.
While addressing members of the New GMC Board of Directors, Minister Mustapha said Government has reposed confidence in the new members to turn around the agency by developing innovative policies.
“This is a very important organisation in the Ministry of Agriculture. As Minister, I would like to see the agency embark on new and innovative ways to market Guyana’s products and (deal) with our farmers’ produce. As the persons involved in making critical decisions relating to this agency, we have to ensure that we have the trust of the farmers. We also have to ensure we make the sector attractive. I want to see a revamping of the policies of the New GMC,” Minister Mustapha is quoted as saying in a press release from the Agriculture Ministry.
Minister Mustapha further stated that the agency would have to develop new ways of finding markets for farmers’ produce.
“As challenging as it may be, farmers are looking forward to the Ministry of Agriculture to assist them with finding markets for their produce. I think that, over the years, many farmers would have produced significantly, but due to the decline in markets and prices for their produce, many farmers would’ve downscaled or come out of agriculture altogether. We are now tasked with encouraging them to get back into the fields and show that markets are, and will be, available,” the Minister stated.
David Fernandes, appointed Chairman of the Board, said he plans to work to ensure the New GMC is able to execute its mandate while coming up with innovative ways to market farmers’ and agro-processors’ products.
Meanwhile, Teshawna Lall has been appointed new General Manager of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation.
Further, while addressing the newly appointed Hope Coconut Industries Limited’s Board of Directors, Minister Mustapha said members are expected to develop the entire estate, adding that both coconuts and other cash crops are cultivated there.
Minister Mustapha suggested that the Board set up subcommittees to address the issues faced.
Newly appointed Chairman of the Board, Pandit Rabindranath Persaud, while addressing the Board, said Hope Estate should be a model for other estates in the country.
“In the past, resources were not adequate enough to take Hope Coconut Industries where it was supposed to be. Now we have a Board with persons who are specialised, we have the resources and, most importantly, the enthusiasm to push the industry. So, I’m happy to be working along with each and every one of you, because I know for a fact (that) each and every one of you has something to bring to the table and make sure we excel in every capacity,” Persaud said.
The new members of GMC Board of Directors include David Fernandes (Chairman), Brian Sears, Gerald Gouveia Jr., Rajeundra Singh, Syied Ibrahim, Venkat Narasan, George Jervis, Natasah Beerjit-Deonarine, Aditya Persaud, Faizal Jafferally, Jaideo Sookhoo, Yvonne Pearson and Teshawna Lall (GM/ex-officio member).
The new members of the Board of the Hope Coconut Industries Limited are Pandit Rabindranath Persaud (Chairman), Teshawna Lall, Javed Shadick, Rickford Sue, Dr. Oudho Homenauth, Bissesar Persaud, George Jervis, Dhanpaul Sukhdeo, Gordon Thomas, Bissesar Chantamanie and Rickie Roopchand (GM/ex officio member).