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By Kiana WilburgProjects aimed at enhancing the livelihood of Amerindian farmers and producers in the Region Nine area continue to be pursued by the Ministry of Social Cohesion and the Institute of Applied Science andThe IAST team (front row) surrounded by members of the Parishara community at the handing over ceremony.Technology (IAST).In fact, a special team consisting of representatives from both entities recently returned from a five-day trip from the North Rupununi. There, they conducted product development training, technical assistance and rehabilitation works to the Parishara peanut butter factory.The partnership, which was formed in November last, has already seen farmers and other producers being able to better develop and market their products and boost their earning power.Minister of Social Cohesion, Ms. Amna Ally, relayed that her Ministry has recognised that social cohesion and national unity cannot be achieved without economic and financial stability. As such,Cheap Jerseys, she noted that the Ministry is engaging stakeholders to determine what is needed to support community empowerment.To this end, the Ministry and IAST formed a partnership which is mandated to develop and/or adopt as its mandate the development and/or adaptation of the appropriate technology for the utilisation of Guyana’s natural resources, so that these resources can be gainfully developed and exploited for the benefit of the people of Guyana.Professor Suresh Narine (centre) consults with residents of HiwaSince a meeting with residents, farmers and producers in Region Nine in November, the IAST,NFL Jerseys Outlet, under the stewardship of Professor Suresh Narine, and the Ministry have been working with the Macusi Research Unit (MRU) and Medicine From Trees (MFT) Group.The projects undertaken by the IAST for these groups aimed at adding value to their products by adding scents and flavours to products such as body lotions, oils and soaps, and making them into attractive shapes and sizes to ensure access to higher priced markets.In December, the group arrived in Georgetown, compliments of Dr. Narine, and were taken to the IAST labs where they were introduced to the technology being used to achieve improved textures and scents of the soaps and lotions,Cheap Jerseys From China, and they were taught how other materials in their environment can be used as substitutes to the machinery in the labs, to get the best results.The group was also taught the science of soap-making, how to deal with variables, branding for the products, how to maximize profits, maximizing raw materials and labour, cost to profits ratios and how to draft a business plan to access funding.On January 9, an 11-member team from the IAST, accompanied by Mr. Shabir Ally of the Ministry of Social Cohesion, travelled to the communities of Annai, Bina Hill, Parishara and Hiwa, North Rupununi to build on the works which were done at the IAST labs in December in soap-making ,while ensuring that the Parishara Peanut butter factory was back in operation.The team also used the opportunity to work with the newly-appointed CEO of Bina Hill, Mr. Eugene Xavier, in the collection of samples for ongoing research efforts in collaboration with the MRU and MFT to standardize extractions, dosages, and formulations of the community’s salves, ointments and tinctures.The remainder of the team, including fabrication specialists David Singh and Gopaul Narine, glass blowing specialists Andrew Thom and Aaron Rambarran, Project Officer Raveena Mangal as well as Messrs Jones, Wilkinson, Nurse, Mr. Shabir Ally and Professor Narine focused on the resuscitation of the peanut processing facilities in the village of Parishara.Operated by the Parishara Organic Food Processors Association, the peanut processing facility, which was used to produce peanut butter for the North Rupununi’s school feeding programme, was badly damaged and inoperable when the team from IAST and the Ministry of Social Cohesion first visited in November 2015.At that time, at the behest of the community, the IAST committed to repairing the equipment, which included a badly damaged roaster and mill. When the team re-visited in January, however, it was noticed that the buildings housing the equipment had been badly damaged,Wholesale Jerseys China, and were not suitable for the production of food.  The team then committed to, in addition to repairing the equipment, rehabilitate the buildings and paint them,Cheap Jerseys Online, both inside and out.With support from the community, the team and community members were able to complete all repairs to the buildings, apply fresh coats of paint inside and out, and return the entire facility to a state suitable for food manufacture in three days.Chairperson of the Parishara Organic Food Processors Association Ms. Arlene McDonald commended the IAST team for their hard work and help given to the community, while impressing that it is only the first step for the village as they look forward to ensuring the residents begin to prosper from and utilize the repaired peanut processing facility.Other residents from Parishara, including Jennette Isaacs and Maglene, expressed their gratitude to the team from IAST.Isaacs said the team did a very good job and anticipates the continuity and sustainability of the work done on the buildings and equipment. Maglene, who work at the primary and nursery schools of the village said, “I am one of the older residents of Parishara, and we have been working very hard with the group. Now we have the younger people working with it, but it was very good for the team to help us. It was very surprising to me, I felt shocked to see these people coming to work in my community when I should have been doing it, yet the outsiders came and did it and I’m so grateful for that.  We will definitely continue to work hard and try our best.”Meanwhile, Professor Narine, in the company of Mr. William Toney, Regional Executive Officer, Mr Carl Parker and Deputy REO Ms. Maylene Stephen, visited the community of Hiwa and held consultations with the residents on how the institute can help in their technology needs.The villagers expressed a desire to employ technological solutions for the value-added processing of oranges grown by the residents.Currently, some 3,000 orange trees exist in the village,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, and most of the produce from these trees are wasted during the bearing season.  Professor Narine advised that it may be best for them to consider the production of marmalade from these oranges, since it has several advantages.Furthermore, he posited that should their branding and marketing of this product be successful, this would provide impetus for planting of additional orange trees, thereby increasing the revenue earned by the villagers.Dr. Narine however indicated to the residents that in order for the IAST to seek funding for this project, the villagers would have to form a formal fruit processing association which can own and take responsibility for the equipment.The villagers, led in particular by Mr. Joseph Abraham, Village Councilor, committed to formation of the formal association, and Professor Narine committed to seeking government funding for the processing facility on their behalf.He also committed the IAST to installing the processing facility and training the villagers in the production of safe and quality spreads such as orange marmalade.Professor Narine indicated that a significant amount of the institute’s efforts in 2016 will be focused on work with indigenous communities in Regions Nine, Eight and One.  Currently, a Memorandum of Understanding is being drafted between the IAST, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs and the Ministry of Social Cohesion, so that these projects can be funded, to ensure sustainable development of revenue-generating ventures among indigenous communities.
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