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Saturday, May 8, 2004


Large number of residents in Baramita request medical attention- - Minister Nokta and medical team to return on follow-up visit..

Residents of the remote Carib village of Baramita in Region One (Barima/ Waini) today received medical check-ups and treatment from a visiting team of Doctors and medical personnel of the Ministry of Health, during a medical outreach programme in the area.

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The Following is a statement by the Hon. Ronald Gajraj, MP, Minister of Home Affairs in reaction to allegations of his participation in or knowledge of activities of an alleged death squad.

Since my appointment as the Minister of Home Affairs, I have discharged the functions of my office with dedication, commitment, honesty and pride. Being a member of this Government demands hard work and responsiveness to the daily challenges in service to our nation. I have had to make sacrifices, which have affected my family. The same could be said of my fellow Cabinet colleagues. Notwithstanding the sacrifices and personal attacks against me, I have always felt a deep sense of pride to serve my country and people.

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20 Prisons officers completes Recruitment course

Twenty Assistant Prison Officers have concluded the Basic Recruit Training Course, and a presentation ceremony was held at the Guyana Prisons Headquarters, Brickdam today.
After eight weeks of hard work the officers will now return to their respective prison locations to execute their duties. Participants came from the Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Timehri, Lusignan and Mazaruni Prisons.

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Census report handed over to Board of Bureau of Statistics


A formal presentation of Guyana’s Preliminary Report on the National Housing and Census Exercise was today handed over to the Board of the Bureau of Statistics. The report was handed over by Chief Statistician, Lennox Benjamin.

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Minister Sawh calls on farmers, rice experts to focus on strategies to fight global challenges

Minister of Agriculture (ag.) Satyadeow Sawh today called on farmers, rice producers, millers and other Rice experts to focus on strategies to fight global challenges and ensure sustainability in the rice sector.
The Minister made this call while addressing the opening of a two-day National Seminar on “Modern trends in Rice Technology,” at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC).

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Several Schools turned out to GINA’s Exhibition to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Several schools from Georgetown turned out at the National Library today to view the Government Information Agency’s exhibition to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.

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"We're proud of your sacrifice"-Minister Sawh tells fishermen and farmers of Unity/ Lancaster

Minister of Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock and Acting Agriculture Minister, Satyadeow Sawh told farmers and fishermen of Unity/ Lancaster (Region Four) today, during a meeting at the Unity/Lancaster Community Centre Ground, that Government is proud of the sacrifices they make and will continue to stand behind them and assist them.

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Youth Forum formed to promote agricultural pursuits

The Guyana Forum for Youth in Agriculture (GFYA) was officially launched this morning. GFYA aims at encouraging the formulation and subsequent implementation of plans and programmes to encourage greater youth participation in agriculture and to identify and establish relationships with similar groups in the region. This is so as to facilitate the availability of wider resources to youth stakeholders in agriculture.

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Council on Foreign Relations opens two-day meeting

A two-day meeting of the Advisory Council of Foreign Relations convened this morning at the Foreign Service Institute. This is the second meeting of the Council

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Mabura survivors resting comfortably at GPHC

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Michael Khan said that the three patients who survived the Mabura truck crash, which killed four others, are resting comfortably at the Hospital.

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GUYEXPO launched with an overseas twist


Guyana’s largest trade and investment show – GUYEXPO – was today officially launched, and for the first time promises to showcase exhibits from overseas companies.

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National Committee on Flood Control set up
- To meet daily to monitor the situation

The May-June rains have come and Cabinet has constituted a flood disaster team and mechanisms are in place to reduce the risk of flooding.
This was disclosed by Minister of Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock and acting Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow Sawh at a media briefing at his Ministry's Boardroom today.

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Large number of residents in Baramita request medical attention- - Minister Nokta and medical team to return on follow-up visit.

Georgetown, GINA, May 08, 2004.

Residents of the remote Carib village of Baramita in Region One (Barima/ Waini) today received medical check-ups and treatment from a visiting team of Doctors and medical personnel of the Ministry of Health, during a medical outreach programme in the area.
The visiting team, led by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Harripersaud Nokta, also included officials of the Social Impact Amelioration Programme (SIMAP), who inspected the site for the construction of a new teachers’ quarters in the village.
The team arrived during the morning hours to administer medical check-ups to villagers and to meet with residents to discuss issues affecting them.
Baramita, which is accessible only by aircraft is one of the largest Amerindian villages, and was recently granted its land title by President Bharrat Jagdeo at the Office of the President.
The village’s population is approximately 1,700. Minister Nokta explained to those meeting with him that Government hopes that by September this year, the trail for the planned road from Matthew’s Ridge to the village will be cleared all the way through so that construction of the road can begin.
Toshao Johnny Simon pointed out that villagers are looking forward to the completion of the road and are assisting in clearing the trail. The road will allow villagers to access health and other services via Matthew’s Ridge. The Toshao led Minister Nokta to the road site and observed that about two miles of the trail has already been cleared by residents.
Minister Nokta explained that traveling to Baramita often can be quite costly, and this is why Government is working on completing the road soon. He urged villagers to get into farming activities to assist in providing food for their families regularly and for income generation.
With regard to education, District Development Officer (DDO), Sampson Baird, contended that the education level in Baramita is quite low and a resident medical practitioner is needed there with the village being so highly populated.
He pointed out that villagers had agreed to assist themselves in some way with their plan to construct a village office, since they appreciated the help by Government but realized that Government could not do everything for them.
The DDO thanked Prime Minister Samuel Hinds for providing them with a chainsaw for logging purposes and President Bharrat Jagdeo for looking into the issues affecting them so soon after informing him of these at the Toshaos reception in Georgetown in February last. .
Referring to Agriculture, he also reiterated that Baramita needs an agriculture field assistant to teach villagers to farm productively.
At the end the meeting, an endorsement was signed for the construction of a Head-teacher and teachers’ quarters by Village Officials and SIMAP, and Minister Nokta mentioned that considerations are being made to rehabilitate other Government buildings in the village.
The medical team is likely to make a second visit to the community soon as the doctors could not have attended to all those who turned up for the meeting.

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The Following is a statement by the Hon. Ronald Gajraj, MP, Minister of Home Affairs in reaction to allegations of his participation in or knowledge of activities of an alleged death squad.

Georgetown, GINA, Friday, May 7, 2004.

Since my appointment as the Minister of Home Affairs, I have discharged the functions of my office with dedication, commitment, honesty and pride. Being a member of this Government demands hard work and responsiveness to the daily challenges in service to our nation. I have had to make sacrifices, which have affected my family. The same could be said of my fellow Cabinet colleagues. Notwithstanding the sacrifices and personal attacks against me, I have always felt a deep sense of pride to serve my country and people.

I have never shirked from my duty as the political head of a Ministry charged with overseeing the internal safety and security of the people of Guyana. Specifically, protecting them from the bandits, murderous criminals and their handlers who seek to deprive our citizens of not only their property, but also their sense of security, dignity and even life. I have, without regret, endured many sleepless nights in fulfilling my duties to the people of Guyana to make our streets and villages safer. It would be an injustice to the people of Guyana to serve as the Minister of Home Affairs without doing all that may be necessary within the confines of the law in carrying out the tremendous task at hand, particularly in confronting the organized and seemingly politically motivated crime wave of 2002/2003 period.

I wish once again to commiserate with all the victims of the crime wave. If there were anything else within my power, abilities and the laws of our country that could have been done to prevent the criminal madness, I would have done so without hesitation. I make no apology for this. I wish also to salute the bravery of the members of the Guyana Police Force, other security ranks and members of Community Policing Groups who fearlessly confronted the well-armed and dangerous criminals. I share with the mothers, wives and children the loss and grief of those brave policemen and innocent civilians who fell to the guns of the criminals. The battle to rid our society of the criminals and crime goes on!

Earlier this year, a number of allegations seeking to implicate me in certain unlawful activities was made. These baseless allegations have been given much political `spinning’ by certain media entities known for their hostility to the Government and their sympathies for the Opposition. The PNCR and others are using those media allegations as the basis for a nasty campaign orchestrated against me and my family. Sections of the media and certain politicians in the opposition have already arrived at conclusions based on speculations, suspicions and conjecture. Not a single statement has been given to the Guyana Police Force by anyone who claims to be in possession of relevant `information /intelligence.’

I have always maintained that the allegations made against me are false, malicious and calculated. Generally, I have ignored these allegations given their heavy political undertones and sensationalism. My seeming silence or lack of strident public defence ought not to have suggested guilt or unwillingness to confront these claims. Neither have I sought to influence nor interfere in any efforts or attempts by the Guyana Police Force to investigate these false allegations. In fact, I have advocated the need for an active investigation and probe of these allegations.

I wish to thank the President and the entire Cabinet for their unwavering support and confidence in me in the face of a vicious campaign. I have full confidence in our President and Government resolve to fulfill our mandate to the people of Guyana. The support and goodwill that I have received from Guyanese of all ethnic, political and religious background has been overwhelming and has afforded me much strength and determination over the past months. Even though my family, relatives and friends have been adversely affected by the vicious campaign being waged against me, their support, has been unquestionable and beyond expectation. I would like to thank them most sincerely.

I wish to declare categorically: I have never acted contrary to the laws of Guyana. I have always conducted myself consistent with the powers vested in me by the Constitution of Guyana.

It was my hope that those who claim to have information to support the allegations, would have by now presented statements and evidence to the only competent authority to investigate such matters - the Guyana Police Force. I had expected that an investigation would have been carried out so that the truth could have been revealed to the Guyanese people. Instead, no such statement was made or evidence provided, thus the Police were unable to mount any investigation.

I am no longer prepared to allow my integrity and commitment to the laws of Guyana to be the subject of a trial in sections of the media and at opposition political meetings. If the claim that my presence in the office of the Minister of Home Affairs is forestalling any investigation or probe, then I am willing even to entertain such a weak argument to end this campaign of smear against me and thwart a concerted campaign to bring the entire Government into disrepute. I am interested in a speedy, fair and impartial investigation so that the people of Guyana can know the truth. The truth that I Ronald Gajraj am not guilty of those scandalous allegations.

I have therefore requested of His Excellency, the President to have mechanism put in place for a fair and impartial inquiry to be done. I am prepared to proceed on leave upon such mechanism being put in place to facilitate a fair and impartial inquiry and to allay fears of interference with the process that warped and corrupt minds may harbour.

The truth and rule of law will prevail! I thank you.

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National Committee on Flood Control set up
- To meet daily to monitor the situation

Georgetown, GINA, May 07, 2004

The May-June rains have come and Cabinet has constituted a flood disaster team and mechanisms are in place to reduce the risk of flooding.
This was disclosed by Minister of Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock and acting Minister of Agriculture, Satyadeow Sawh at a media briefing at his Ministry's Boardroom today.
The objective of the 'National Committee on Flood Control' is to assess outfalls, sluices, canals and conservancies across the country during the rainy season.
"The Committee will meet daily and prepare a weekly report to me and I will present the findings to Cabinet," Minister Sawh stated.
Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Harripersaud Nokta noted that the ten administrative regions are on alert. Koker and sluice attendants are also on alert.
"From a regional point of view, there is no cause for alarm. We have instructed the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) to have all drains and canals cleaned to prevent flooding," Minister Nokta mentioned.
Ravi Narine, Chief Executive Officer of National Drainage and Irrigation Board gave an update on the status of the regions during the past week.
In Regions Two (Poomeroon/Supenaam) and Five (Mahica/Berbice), no flooding was experienced, said Narine. There are high water levels in villages such as Vreed-en-Hoop, Leonora and Veergenoegen in Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara).
In Region Four (Mahaica/Mahicony), water levels are also high, especially in the lower East Coast areas, including Montrose through Buxton, Hope and Anne's Grove.
"We are hoping the high water level will go down substantially," Narine told reporters.
Water is receding in villages including Black Bush Polder and Whim in Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne). While in Region Ten (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice), a meeting was held with the Regional Chairman who reported there is no flooding.
Deputy Mayor of Georgetown, Robert Williams is appealing to the public to desist from clogging canals and drains with garbage. He noted it is affecting the pumps.
Williams explained that the grills are installed on the pumps to prevent stuff from destroying the pumps, but when there is a build up of waste, the water does not flow.
Areas in Georgetown are being drained except for two areas, Liliendaal and Kitty. The Deputy Mayor said the pump in Kitty has developed a problem. However, Guyana Seafoods has assisted and in another two days the basin will be cleaned for the reactivation of the pump.
Liliendaal has two pumps which covers 50 percent of the drainage in the city. One of the pumps is not functioning properly noted Williams. He noted an engineer has examined the pump and "we will see what we can do quickly." He said as long there is an adequate electricity supply, the one pump can work.
Guyana Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) is adequately prepared to assist with drainage and irrigation.
Phillip Jaigopaul from the Guyana Meteorological Office told reporters that there has been significant rainfall in the past few weeks.
Predictions for the next few weeks are wet to very wet conditions; generally above average and occasions of high intensity rainfall. The rainy season is expected to come to a close in the second to third week in June.

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  20 Prisons officers completes Recruitment course

Georgetown, GINA, May 08, 2004

Twenty Assistant Prison Officers have concluded the Basic Recruit Training Course, and a presentation ceremony was held at the Guyana Prisons Headquarters, Brickdam today.
After eight weeks of hard work the officers will now return to their respective prison locations to execute their duties. Participants came from the Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Timehri, Lusignan and Mazaruni Prisons.
Recruitment and Training Officer, Colin Howard, in an invited comment to the Government Information Agency (GINA), said that he is pleased with the enthusiasm shown by the participants.
"The training these officers received will benefit the Guyana Prisons Service (GPS) and the country," said Howard.
Best Graduating Officer was Prea Dasraj from the Prison Headquarters. Sarah Roberts and Kirk of Georgetown Prison were first runner-up and second runner-up.
The officers training was divided into three phases. Phase One was completed on April 2 last, when the Officers showcased their drill techniques on the National Cultural Centre Tarmac at a passing out parade.
Weapons training and unarmed combat constituted Phase Two, and the just completed Phase Three included: prisons welfare; basic prison management; officers welfare; morale development; human rights/minimum rules and Basic English language.
The Prison Officers will be able to improve relationships with inmates and the public and now have an excellent knowledge of the prisons environment.
Members of the GPS directorate staff were the resource persons, with several external agencies lending their support – including the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) and the University of Guyana.
This is the first training session for 2004 and three other sessions are listed for the year. The next one is scheduled for May 17.

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Census report handed over to Board of Bureau of Statistics


Georgetown, GINA, May 7, 2004


A formal presentation of Guyana’s Preliminary Report on the National Housing and Census Exercise was today handed over to the Board of the Bureau of Statistics. The report was handed over by Chief Statistician, Lennox Benjamin.
Members of the Board are Chairman, Minister of Finance Saisnarine Kowlessar; Governor, Bank of Guyana, Dolly Singh; Deryck Bernard, People’s National Congress/Reform and Mohandatt Goolsarran, National Centre for Education and Research Development.
Members of the Board will now study and appraise themselves of the findings, after which they are expected to make a public release.
The census exercise is monitoring of the population at a particular period of time. This includes local and foreign persons who are in a country at that time. The first phase of the census exercise –the count – was conducted in September 2002.
Monitoring of the population was grouped under two broad headings - institutional population and non-institutional population. The last census exercise in Guyana was done over ten years ago.

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Minister Sawh calls on farmers, rice experts to focus on strategies to fight global challenges

Georgetown, GINA, May 07, 2004

Minister of Agriculture (ag.) Satyadeow Sawh today called on farmers, rice producers, millers and other Rice experts to focus on strategies to fight global challenges and ensure sustainability in the rice sector.
The Minister made this call while addressing the opening of a two-day National Seminar on “Modern trends in Rice Technology,” at the University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC).
“Modern technology is necessary and important if Guyana is to bridge the technology divide,” he said.
To this end, he said it is necessary to adopt suitable technologies to incorporate in the country’s mode of cultivation. At the same time, he pointed out, it is also important to reduce the cost of production in order to sustain the rice industry.
Minister Sawh pointed out that the Rice Industry has a significant role in the country’s economy. It is a part of the private sector that provides a significant number of jobs, generates foreign exchange, ensures food security and helps in reducing rural poverty, he added.
Among the major challenges the industry faces are world market price, concomitant provision of enormous subsidies, higher input cost and unjust import requirements.
Despite these challenges, Minister Sawh said, the “ onus is on us to ensure the industry grows.” He said this is important, because many poor rural families, especially, depend on the industry and feel the impact of poor harvests, which also has a negative effect on Guyana’s trade and economy.
The Minister made several proposals of strategies to be considered. These include measures to bridge the gaps in yields, crop-livestock synergy and adding value to products.
All of these, he said, are necessary to ensure quality production and competitive prices.
Minister Sawh pledged Government’s continued support for new initiatives in the rice sector, but pointed out that Government alone cannot move the industry forward but needs the support of all stakeholders in the industry.
According to Professor Lalithakumari, an Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Consultant at the UGBC, the workshop was coordinated to serve as a platform for various stakeholders in the rice industry to interact with each other to determine problems and possible solutions.
Some of the areas to be tackled at the two-day seminar include Rice Hi-Technology and Breeding and Bio inputs for organic rice cultivation.
“A balanced blend of new and conventional techniques may alone help the farmers develop confidence for sustainable agriculture,” she said.
The meeting will also discuss dynamic agricultural extension and marketing systems.
Vice Chancellor Dr. James Rose, in a message, said “Agriculture is the bedrock of the national economy and the rice industry is the economic base of Berbice. Networking and interfacing with the agriculture sector augurs well for the future of the national economy and the Berbice campus alike.”
The progress made by the UGBC and its contribution to agriculture education and extension work are remarkable, he added.
Meanwhile, Director of the UGBC Dr. Parsram Thakur said the world is looking forward to Agriculture to feed the malnourished and undernourished.
He said this initiative is a timely one and is a humble beginning.
This year has been designated International Year of Rice by the United Nations. The Theme is “Rice is Life.”
Director of the National Agricultural Research Institute Dr. Oudho Homenauth said the main focus of the IYR2004 is to increase yields and improve crop and land management.
“The actors and players of the rice sector in Guyana need to be cognisant of the current and emerging technologies in the rice industry globally to remain competitive in keeping with the goals and objectives of the IYR2004.
The year of Rice was last observed in 1966.

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Several Schools turned out to GINA’s Exhibition to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Georgetown, GINA, May 6, 2004

Several schools from Georgetown turned out at the National Library today to view the Government Information Agency’s exhibition to celebrate World Press Freedom Day.
Students from the Sacred Heart Primary School, Rama Khrishna Secondary, Queen’s College and St. Rose’s Secondary school, among others, were enlightened about the importance of Press Freedom in Guyana after which they were allowed to view the exhibits.
Exhibits reflect on the struggle of journalists to report the truth in the 1970’s and 80’s in Guyana, and show the emergence of the Free Press reflected in new newspapers and television stations in Guyana.
The openness of the Government in the signing of the Chapultepec Declaration on May 24, 2004 was also highlighted at the exhibition.
The exhibition continues until Saturday May 8, 2004 and the public is urged to view it.

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"We're proud of your sacrifice"-Minister Sawh tells fishermen and farmers of Unity/ Lancaster

Georgetown, GINA, May 6, 2004

Minister of Fisheries, Other Crops and Livestock and Acting Agriculture Minister, Satyadeow Sawh told farmers and fishermen of Unity/ Lancaster (Region Four) today, during a meeting at the Unity/Lancaster Community Centre Ground, that Government is proud of the sacrifices they make and will continue to stand behind them and assist them.
The Minister's visit to the area was a follow-up to the meeting held with President Bharrat Jagdeo and residents of the area at the Office of the President recently.
The President during a visit to Unity/Lancaster on Easter Monday last had promised villagers that he would look into various issues affecting them.
Some of the problems had to do with Housing and Water, Drainage and Irrigation (D&I) and Crops and Livestock.
The Minister visited the area accompanied by representatives of the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), the Drainage and Irrigation Board, the New Guyana Marketing Corporation (NGMC) and Fisheries Officer, Bashkaran Basdeo.
Minister Sawh told the farmers and fishermen that the issues were discussed by Government at Cabinet and that within the next two weeks, D&I works will commence on the Mosquito Hall Sluice.
On a suggestion made by a farmer that the cleaning of a specific drain in Lancaster could assist with flooding in the area, the Minister pointed out that the D&I Board will assist with that.
He encouraged cash crop farmers to make use of the services offered by NARI and NGMC, adding, "We are here to work with you".
However, the sluice operator in the area complained to the Minister that some fishermen were not complying with requests to stop tying their boats to the sluice. The Minister said he was very concerned about this, and urged them to desist from doing this or Government would be wasting money repairing the damage done every time.
"People need to get together to build their community", he added.
Mr. Karan Singh of NARI advised farmers to focus on planting crops that could attract an overseas market, as this is how they would earn more. Some of the products he suggested were soursop, sapodillas and cherries.
On the matter of fishermen having to pay US $100 for licenses for fishing vessels, Minister Sawh disclosed that after discussions at Cabinet, it has been decided that the fishermen would be given a three year extension where they would not have to pay that sum.
On other issues surrounding Housing and Water, the Minister said he would discuss these with Minister of Housing and Water, Shaik Baksh and would continue to follow up on them. He urged residents to co-operate with each other, or certain problems would not be solved effectively, even if Government assisted

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Youth Forum formed to promote agricultural pursuits

Georgetown, GINA, May 7, 2004

The Guyana Forum for Youth in Agriculture (GFYA) was officially launched this morning. GFYA aims at encouraging the formulation and subsequent implementation of plans and programmes to encourage greater youth participation in agriculture and to identify and establish relationships with similar groups in the region. This is so as to facilitate the availability of wider resources to youth stakeholders in agriculture.
Agriculture is recognised as a major contributor to Guyana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), foreign exchange earnings, and the enhancement of rural life, employment and food security.
The group believes that there has been a lack of active youth involvement in the academic, productive and policymaking levels of the sector.
GFYA has identified a number of hindrances, which may have contributed to the lack of involvement of youths in agriculture. These include lack of training in entrepreneurship, project development and technical assistance, the lack of farm training and apprenticeship programmes and lack of support from more experienced stakeholders.
GFYA also notes that despite the lack of extensive youth involvement in agriculture, there may be many youth stakeholders who are not organised but display interest in the sustainability of the industry.
GFYA hopes to bring these stakeholders together to encourage collective action and decision-making strategies to promote increased youth involvement in the sector. Membership is open to entrepreneurs and stakeholders in agriculture, under 35, and from Agriculture Youth Organisations, students in agriculture and related studies, non-governmental organisations and other agriculture youth stakeholders in and around the Region.
Within recent years, the Government has been paying specific attention to rebuilding and expanding Guyana’s agriculture output. There has been marked expansion in the export of non-traditional crops. Emphasis has also been on training of people in the sector.

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Council on Foreign Relations opens two-day meeting

Georgetown, GINA, May 7, 2004

A two-day meeting of the Advisory Council of Foreign Relations convened this morning at the Foreign Service Institute. This is the second meeting of the Council
The Council was established to provide a forum for the expression and inclusion of diverse perspectives on national policy issues and on this basis, to support the pursuit of Guyana’s foreign policy objectives.
The Council comprises eminent Guyanese at home and abroad with experience in international affairs and deep interest in continuing to advance Guyana’s political, economic and social interests.
The work of the Council is assisted by funding provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The two-day meeting is expected to review the outcome and implementation of initiatives from the first session held last September, and to deliberate on proposals for promoting Guyana as a gateway to South America. It will also look at ways to enhance Guyana’s image overseas, especially within the Caribbean.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Rudy Insanally is chairing the two-day meeting.

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Mabura survivors resting comfortably at GPHC

Georgetown, GINA, May 07, 2004

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) Michael Khan said that the three patients who survived the Mabura truck crash, which killed four others, are resting comfortably at the Hospital.
"The survivors are being monitored constantly by nurses and they are not in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). That is a positive sign," said Khan in an invited comment to the Government Information Agency (GINA).
The survivors are Lisa Charles, Jermaine Collins and Deighton Melville, the driver. The truck was enroute to Lethem in the pre-dawn hours of Wednesday, when it careened off a bridge near the Mabura checkpoint.
The truck reportedly failed to negotiate a steep curve on the road and toppled several times downhill before it came to a standstill at the foot of the hill.
The injured were later transported to the airstrip at Omai Gold Mining Company and air-dashed to Ogle Aerodrome, East Coast Demerara. From Ogle, they were transported by ambulance to the GPHC.
Those who died are Merle Burnette, Quinciana Franklyn, Damian Melville and Robertson Hope.

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GUYEXPO launched with an overseas twist

Georgetown, GINA, May 07, 2004


Guyana’s largest trade and investment show – GUYEXPO – was today officially launched, and for the first time promises to showcase exhibits from overseas companies.
The initial focus of GUYEXPO was to promote and showcase Guyana’s manufacturing and services products. However, this year, the show promises an international flavour that includes products and services from the Caribbean (Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, etc) and Canada.
GUYEXPO will be from September 23 to 27, 2004 at the Sophia Exhibition Centre. Products and services will be displayed in the main auditorium, the annex and the centre’s grounds.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, declaring the trade show officially open noted that Guyana’s business society has to have a change in the way commercial activities are carried-out.
He said that the notion of Government leading the way in economic growth and development is not longer realistic and the private sector should be the engine of growth.
Mr. Hinds said that GUYEXPO has been fulfilling the need for the private sector to promote itself locally, with many initiatives in local art and craft.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce Manzoor Nadir, Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Office for Investment (Go-Invest), Geoffrey Da Silva, Coordinator of GUYEXPO, Percival Boyce (Jnr.), members of the Diplomatic Corps and several representatives from the private sector also attended the official launch.
Minister Nadir pointed out that this year’s show will build on past experiences and new features will be included.
A total of 250 companies are expected to participate this year. GUYEXPO 2002, which was held for four days, saw participation of over 47,000 paid persons.
Mr. Da Silva said that GUYEXPO and similar trade fairs both local and overseas help to boost private sector involvement in the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
He noted that trade shows, involving small and medium manufacturing and service entities, help to build the CSME from the ground up.
GUYEXPO 2004, with the theme “The call to El Dorado II” will be the fifth show for Guyana in the last ten years. It is held every two years.
Letters of invitations will be sent to various agencies next week and specific sectorial categories will be established.
The Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce and Go-Invest are the agencies responsible for promoting GUYEXPO.

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