GEORGETOWN, The Ministry of Social Protection will be collaborating with the Institute of Applied Science and Technology (IAST) to provide jobs for the residents of Hiowa village. Plans are underway to establish a production facility for orange marmalade in the village.Hiowa is a small Indigenous community located in Region Nine, with a population of about 400 persons. The residents are mostly involved in farming of citrus crops. Oranges are usually harvested by the thousands and sold to other villages. The former Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally, (now Minister of Social Protection) during a visit in 2016, had proposed the establishment of a unit to produce marmalade – a preserve made from citrus fruits, especially bitter oranges, prepared like jam.
Director of the IAST, Dr Suresh Narine, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the Ministry of Social Protection will be funding the establishment of a facility which will be manufacturing and marketing orange marmalade. This project will be coordinated and supervised by the IAST.
Apart from creating employment for villagers, this project will see persons being trained in the manufacturing and marketing fields. This facility should increase economic viability within the community.
IAST continues to undertake projects aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of Indigenous farmers and producers in Regions Eight and Nine, with funding from the government. The director stated that the entire geographical location of the Rupununi and high Pakaraimas are themselves a marketing strategy. When in production, the intent is to have both national and international distribution and in keeping with the model adopted by the IAST, for its successful Rupununi Essence line of cosmetics, 100% of the profits will be reimbursed to the Hiowa community.