Malaysian investor builds rubber plants nursery

Bornion Guyana Incor-porated (BGI) has completed the construction of a shade house along the Linden/Soesdyke Highway to act as a nursery for rubber plants.

BGI, a subsidiary of the Malaysian Wee Boon Ping Group of Companies, was allocated an initial 10,000 acres of land in the Canje basin as part of a proposal to invest US$500 million in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

So far Bornion has completed the shade house on a five-acre plot located at Kairuni on the highway. The shade house construction is in partnership with the Guyanese Government. According to sources the government will take over the shade house once Bornion is finished and it will be utilised by the agriculture ministry.

Stabroek News was made to understand that Bornion is also in the process of soil analysis and that tests are ongoing. There has been no explanation why a nursery is being established so far from the eventual site of the planned large-scale agriculture project in the Canje Basin.

Stabroek News understands that the project coordinator, Chiok Boon Tan and registered Director and Secretary for Bornion, is currently in Malaysia to organise further equipment requirements needed to commence the project on a large scale.

Tan has been connected to Barama Company Limited, another Malay-sian forest resource and wood products company working in Guyana. Stabroek News has reached out to Tan for further comment but without success.

The ongoing work by Bornion comes after it was revealed that neither the Guyana Forestry Commis-sion nor the opposition parties were notified of the proposed half a billion US dollar investment.

APNU shadow agriculture minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine noted that he was only made aware of the investment through a Stabroek News article. He noted that the various memoranda signed between foreign investors and the Guyanese government need to be disclosed and discussed.

Roopnaraine has called the US$500 million investment ambitious while noting that full disclosure of the company’s intentions and project plan needed to be made public. He said that it was not satisfactory to rely on newspapers to gather details of such projects and that the government has an obligation to properly relay information.

Stabroek News had learnt that the company plans to establish a state-of-the-art industrial complex by 2017 to produce value-added products based on commercial scale cultivation of rubber, oil palm,  corn and cassava.

Prior to the reportage in the Stabroek News there had been no information from the government on the details of MoUs clinched with BGI, China Paper of China and DY Patil of India. In addition, apart from a release from the Government Informa-tion Agency (GINA) in April 2012 reporting on the visit of Wee Boon Ping Group officials, there has been no word from the government on this deal either.

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