After listening to two speeches from the government side, I wanted to do a simple comparison between Mr Dominic Gaskin v Ms Valerie Garrido-Lowe. While Mr Gaskin for the third year found himself saying, again and again, he will do this and he will do that, what was clearly established was that he failed to say what he has really done as a Minister over the last 30 months. Was he asleep at the wheel all this time? One only has to look at Appendix G in the Budget and you will find enough information to recognize that investment as a percentage of GDP was stagnant over 2017. This is his portfolio and he failed.
Ms. Garrido-Lowe on the other hand clearly established what she has done as a Minister, and I must commend her for the Woopcon sun-dried tomato products the name of which she said was from the Patamona language. She spoke about a modern facility at Paramakatoi that will produce sun-dried tomatoes and will be a cash generator for that community. Today 40 farmers from the local area have a ready market for their tomatoes thanks to this investment. Nine persons from the village now have full-time employment and 43 food processors were trained in the village of Paramakatoi. In the last few months, some 5,000 pounds of tomatoes have been purchased and dried. They are now being readied for the marketplace. Just stunning!
As I continued to listen to Ms Garrido-Lowe, immediately I realized it just takes one leader in little Guyana to move mountains, and this is what she has done. In the process, because of her leadership on this issue in Paramakatoi, dozens of lives will change for the better. All I heard from Ms Garrido-Lowe was that her government had done this and our government had done that for the people of the hinterland, unlike her colleague Mr Gaskin who seems to stick in the narrative of he will do this and he will do that. As already said, to date the evidence proves he has done very little as a very sharp Mr Joseph Harmon exposed.
I just want to congratulate Minister Valerie Garrido-Lowe for a job well done. I wish more of her colleagues in the Cabinet could exhibit half as much competence at delivering for the people as she has done, and definitely Guyana would be a better place. Unfortunately, she is in the minority in the Cabinet.