The low turnout at the recently-concluded agro-processors exhibition, market and food festival has not deterred the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GM&SA) from hosting similar events in the future.
This is the according to GM&SA executive and coordinator of the event Ramsay Ali, who shared with Stabroek News plans to host similar events on a quarterly basis in the coming year.
Offering some details, Ali explained that unlike last weekend’s expo, the proposed events will only last one day and will be taken to different parts of the country.
Last Friday, the GM&SA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, launched “Uncapped,” an expo with a focus on bringing together agro processors from across the country for a showcasing of produce, networking as well as fostering the appreciation of the products of Guyana’s agro processing industry.
However, when Stabroek News visited the expo on the three nights, the poor turnout was noticeable, despite several dozen booths occupied by both well established companies, such as Edward B. Beharry, Sterling, and Demerara Distillers Limited, (DDL) as well as other emerging agro-processors.
Commenting on the success of last weekend’s event, Ali conceded that though the turnout was low, there was satisfaction gained, knowing that many of those who did attend the expo belonged to the groups they were targeting. This, he said, would have included hotel chefs, store owners and shop keepers, among others.
“Whilst we did not see the number of persons we had hoped would have turned out to the event over the weekend, we are satisfied with the kind of audience that did,” he said, before pegging the number of visitors at an estimated 3,000 over the three-day period.
Stabroek News able to witness at least one attempt at networking among the exhibitors where one exhibitor who is in the business of producing flavoured Barbeque sauce was able to liaise with another exhibitor producing containers on a possible solution to her sourcing of containers for her product.
Other patrons seemed to have been wooed by Vanilla twist, a product that NAMILCO is currently pushing to have on the local market. The Vanilla-flavoured cake flour created a stir at the expo. According to the company’s spokesperson, persons were asking for the company to bring out a cake mix, however, they opted to bring out the cake flour instead, since it has more uses. Other attractions included live entertainment, featuring the likes of Poonam Singh, Kwasi Ace, and Mystic, among several others.
There were some however, who related to Stabroek News their disappointment with the expo itself as they had hoped to see more innovative products on display.