Tenders out for US$14M food hub along Soesdyke-Linden Highway

…as phase 2 of project set to continue this year

Tenders have gone out for contractors to continue works on the US$14 Million food hub on the Soesdyke/Linden highway, which President Dr Irfaan Ali had announced last year would be constructed to help advance Guyana and the region’s food security agenda.
The contract is being administered by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), itself an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture. It is for the construction of the foundation and external works of the building.
Bidding will be conducted through the National Competitive Bidding (NCB) procedures and all bidders will be required to submit certificates of compliance and the prescribed bid security.
Phase I of the facility commenced in 2023 for $187 Million, while Phase II works are set to continue this year, at a cost of $625.2 Million. Bids must be submitted by June 27 to the Chairman of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).
During a presentation last September in a meeting with the President of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Jasser, Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha had given further details.
He had revealed that the land for the facility had already been identified on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway and it will cost some US$14 million.
“We want this Guyana here to be the food hub. The primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean, don’t have.”
“We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water. Now with the investment coming on board, we can modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up of the productions,” Mustapha had stated.
Mustapha had also referenced Guyana’s plans to work with the State of Roraima in Brazil to form a partnership in the development of the Hub. For his part, Dr Al-Jasser had commended this move.
“I think to have a target to be the Caribbean hub for food. I think that’s a great ambition and it’s doable and I think the highway that will participate with you in building…connecting you with the largest economy in South America.”
“You have a huge market. Whatever you produce here, you could sell there, and whatever you need you can bring from there also,” Al-Jasser had said.
There has been a multi-pronged approach towards making Guyana a food hub. Earlier this year, CariCargo Incorporated, the company that will be operating the ferry between Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago in a historic attempt at regional integration, had officially been incorporated in Guyana.
The vessel that will be serving the route can accommodate 400 passengers and 60 cars. Among the facilities onboard are a cafeteria, a bar, and a VIP lounge. In January, Guyana, T&T and Barbados formed a joint company that would work towards the introduction of a ferry system for passengers and cargo between the three countries
In 2022, President Dr Irfaan Ali and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley had travelled to northern Brazil to meet with officials of the State of Roraima to advance trilateral relations. The two Heads of State met with the Governor of Roraima, Antonio Denarium, at the Governor’s Palace in Boa Vista.
Also in 2022, President Ali had attended a Caribbean-Roraima Investors Luncheon at the Santa Fé farm in North Rupununi. During that meeting, Brazilian investors representing half of the production capacity of the State of Roraima made presentations on their capacity and capabilities and spoke of their intentions to collaborate with Guyana and the wider Caricom Region in agriculture.
With the State of Roraima, including the business community, expressing a desire to be integrated more into the vision of Caricom, when it comes to the agricultural sector, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the State of Roraima. (G3)