Making Guyana Better? Then Why Is Crime Is Getting Worst?

This week, I had decided to write about the breaking news that after two years in Government, the crime rate is getting worse. The police are reporting that crime is up by 33%, and we are not even into the Charismas season yet. I will probably deal with this topic at a later date.
I want to note, with much excitement, the launching of the multi-million-dollar turmeric factory at Hosororo, Barima-Waini. Guyanese are long known for our ingenuity and hard work. I have travelled the world, literally, and every aspect of development I have seen in those countries, I envision in Guyana. We have the brains, the work ethic, the stamina, the drive and the commitment. And what we don’t possess locally, we have fellow Guyanese in the Diaspora who can supplement any local lack we have.
So now we have a factory that will not only bring in foreign exchange but it will save the country several thousands of expended foreign currency. This is progress. There will also be several direct and indirect jobs created. This is also a great spinoff. Dr. Oudho Homenauth and his team are due for some loud praises, for putting this together.
Local ‘mom and pops’ farmers will be able to sell their turmeric to the factory and receive a substantially higher price, than when they sold on the retail market. The thirty local farmers will no doubt grow and the acreage of turmeric currently under cultivation will definitely increase. This has no doubt created excitement and actual jobs in a region hit hard by unemployment.
The United Republican Party(URP), has never doubted the prospects of the average Guyanese citizen. What we have been challenging for the last three decades is the administrative backwardness and political strangulation that have crippled this nation since our independence. Imagine, please, what Guyana would look like if the Governments behaved in ways that are progressive, transparent and void of political cronyism.
It must be noted that this turmeric factory is a government facility. And while the URP congratulates the Granger administration, it would be well to suggest that incentives need to be given to local investors so that they too could construct similar processing and value-added plants. Taxes need to be rolled back on manufacturing goods and equipment. Low-interest loans should be made available to small entrepreneurs and business persons.
Every day we waste millions – maybe even billions – of dollars in spoiled and damaged fruits and vegetables. We also discard tons of fish and other marine catches. If businesses were sufficiently encouraged and incentivized, Guyana can process and package just about all our fruits, vegetables and sea food. Plants and industries can be set up in all the regions based on the products unique to the regions. If this is guaranteed and facilitated by the Government, in short order, Guyana will fulfill its long touted designation of being the Caribbean’s Bread Basket.
So let me, on behalf of the URP, again thank those responsible for this worthwhile investment. However, the URP believes that in a different political climate, much more can be done. So we will continue to agitate for more balanced and inclusive governance.