Government will be pouring approximately $25 million into the Hope Estate on the East Coast Demerara as it attempts to reconvert the area into the thriving coconut plantation that it once was, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud says.
As part of this revitalization plan, the government is moving to build a $9.5 million coconut water bottling plant in the area. While the government is funding the construction of this facility, the technical design for the plant is being produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Persaud told media operatives. Persaud said that once the technical design for the project has been completed work can begin on the facility which has an estimated construction time of six months. The government hopes to partner the private processers, including some which are overseas-based, to run this facility, Persaud explained. According to him, the government hopes that this will serve as a boost to the industry and that it will provide jobs. He said too that it was hoped this will serve as an impetus for starting up other such plants in the country, noting that at present there are about three private coconut bottling plants locally.