Guyana, India identify projects for technology transfer

Guyana Chronicle
May 9, 2003

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DIRECTOR of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology in Guyana, Mr Roshan Habibullah, has announced that a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Governments of Guyana and India, signed in August 2002, will be implemented within six months.

The pact will be facilitated through the Central Scientific and Industrial Research Institute (CSIRI) of India, following the recent identification of ventures to be launched before year end, he told a media briefing Saturday.

The five-year pact is geared to facilitate the transfer and implementation of commercial technologies covering agriculture, mining, forestry, fisheries and information technology (IT).

The projects include a factory for the production of low cost bricks, solar dryers for the purpose of drying lumber and systems for parboiling of rice and dehydrating fruits.

The announcement was made during the visit, last week, of a delegation of scientists from CSIRI who toured a number of industries and talked with their counterparts, technologists, engineers, members of the business community and interested entrepreneurs.

The three-day visitors (May 1 to 3) paid courtesy calls on Prime Minister Sam Hinds, Minister of Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, Mr. Clement Rohee and Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Navin Chandarpal.

Their talks focused on the improvement of the knowledge base for developing entrepreneurship; the Indian team noted that Guyana, with a rich heritage of culture and biodiversity, has a huge potential for food, agro-processing and building materials, among other things.

The economic advantage and viability of several enterprises were discussed in detail with many entrepreneurs and some of the schemes earmarked have to do with adaptable and energy saving methods of making bricks and glazed tiles, utilisation of rice husk and wood waste and indigenous clay, upgrading and updating of rice mills, especially for parboiling, dehydrating fruits and adding value to products.

Habibullah anticipates the growth of tiny, cottage and rural level industries integrating with small and medium scale ones to ultimately generate sustainable employment locally and regionally.

Other than transferring already tested technology in India to Guyana, the MOU provides for exchange visits of scientists from IAST and CSIRI.

At the end of their stay last week, the Indians signed a working paper and were optimistic that the joint undertakings will be successful.

A document circulated to the media said CSIRI is India's largest research and development institution with 22,000 people working in 40 laboratories spread over the length and breadth of the country.

Dr V. Prakash, Director of Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFRTI) one of CSIRI laboratories, said Guyanese entrepreneurs are enthusiastic about the joint ventures.

With him were Dr. V. K. Mathur, Director, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee; Mr. Sudhir Kumar, Joint Secretary and Head, International Science and Technology Affairs Directorate of CSIRI and Dr. O. P. Agarwal, Head, Business Development Division of CSIRI.

The visit was coordinated by Habibullah, on behalf of the Guyana Government and Mr Jagdesh Rai, Acting High Commissioner of India in Georgetown.

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