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With gov’t support, Pomeroon agro-processor makes seasonings from cassava, coconuts

WITH cassava and coconut already known in Guyana and the wider Caribbean for their versatility, Pomeroon businessman, John Luke, has found a new and interesting way to use them.

The businessman, who is the owner of Luke’s Manufacturing, launched his cassava and coconut seasonings at the recently concluded Agri-Investment Forum and Expo.

During an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Luke explained that the idea behind the use of the products stemmed from his search for a healthier alternative for seasonings.

The new line of seasonings is expected to strategically boost the visibility of the diverse uses of both products which are grown locally, Luke said.

Noting that specific attention has been given to products such as coconut oil and cassava chips, he said: “This new line is not just to complement our vision of healthy living, but to also shed light on, and tap into, the uses of these products that are currently being overlooked.

The coconut and cassava seasonings that were recently launched by Luke’s Manufacturing

“We have these products that are native to Guyana, and for the most part people only see coconuts and cassava for a limited number of products, but I saw the benefits of incorporating them into seasonings, something that is used in every household locally.”

According to Luke, his business currently produces over 30 cassava products with the latest addition being the cassava seasoning, which he anticipates will be a “game changer”.

The proprietor believes that the new seasoning products will boost the visibility of the company and increase its reach locally. At the Expo, pieces of chicken and fish flavoured with the new seasonings were available for sampling.

Luke’s Manufacturing produces wine, various types of porridge mix made with local ingredients, all-purpose seasonings, hot sauce, honey, achars, and passion fruit essence.

The massive line of Luke’s Manufacturing products which started off with the jamoon wine, is currently available in over six supermarkets across Guyana.

Cassava seasoning and honey on display

In December 2020, Luke, who has been an agro-processor for over 13 years, was granted some five acres of land for the expansion of his business following a meeting with President Dr. Irfaan Ali.

After hearing about the businessman’s plight and about the numerous jobs that the business can generate, once it is at full capacity, the President directed the representatives from the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission to fast-track the process.

Speaking about the support given by government to promote local agro-processing and small businesses, Luke stated that he was grateful that government had been paying a vested interest in the development of the sector.

He emphasised that the recently concluded Agri-Investment Forum and Expo gave local businesses a platform to showcase their products.

Luke added that, at the Expo, he was able to meet and interact with persons who gave ideas on how to boost the efficiency of the business.

Luke opined that even as government continues to play its part to support local businesses, entrepreneurs must take the necessary steps to ensure that their business growth is sustainable.

“The government has been lending support for small businesses and I am in full support of that, but we, as small business owners, have the responsibility of creating innovative business policies and experimenting, and taking the necessary steps to ensure that our businesses can grow and be sustainable,” Luke told this publication.