While many men would probably be loathe to admit it, the available evidence points to the fact that women have long been at the forefront of the growth and development of the manufacturing sector in Guyana. True, the raw material used in the production of the various sauces, jams, jellies, spices and other condiments are harvested from farms tended mostly by men (though an increasing number of thriving farms, these days, are managed by women). However, the vast majority of the processing and preparation – still mostly in domestic kitchens utilizing non-industrial equipment and under less than convivial conditions – remains the virtually complete domain of women; and if you visit what, these days, is the increasing number of product displays and marketing events across the country you will quickly come to discover that, here again, the vast majority of marketing is done by women.
Over time too, through the various seminars and other training and sensitization, Guyanese women have acquired an enhanced appreciation of the virtues of adding value to their products by upgrading their packaging and labeling. Their own creative skills coupled with their diligence in sourcing appropriate packaging have served to raise the product-presentation bar in the country’s agro-processing sector.
Inevitably, numbered amongst the local agro-processing entities that have realized some measure of domestic and even limited overseas market success are managed exclusively by women. Among the more prominent of these is the Women’s Agro Processors Development Network (WADN), a registered Friendly Society comprising eleven separate women-run agro processing enterprises located in Regions One, Two, Four, Five and Nine…..