Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Executive Chairman Komal Samaroo is of the strong view that the agriculture sector must be developed to include value added processing of the nation’s fruits and vegetables into pulp and juices, for local consumption and export.
To this end, he explained DDL’s decision to invest some four billion Guyana dollars into its Tropical Orchard Products Company (TOPCO) expansion project which is designed to process and package increased volumes of existing products including cherry, passion fruit, carambola and guava juices as well as new ones including mango, pineapple, citrus and vegetable juices. The expanded plant, is expected to be commissioned in mid-2020 will also be geared to produce pasteurized milk.
Discussions on the expansion project were held last Tuesday with representatives of several relevant government ministries and agencies including the Ministries of Agriculture, Finance and Education along with the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA), the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC), the National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), the University of Guyana (UG), the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) and the Carnegie School of Home Economics.
TOPCO will require a combined total of almost 2 million pounds of cherries, carambola, guava and passion fruit in 2020, up from the 357,281 pounds supplied so far for 2019, an increase of 444 per cent.