The New GMC and its bold project Editorial
Guyana Chronicle
March 26, 2007

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The New Guyana Marketing Corporation is back in the news with a new and bold and challenging project--- the Guyana Shop and Marketing Information Centre.

A bit hefty for an acronym, and certainly not as snappy as one expects it should be, taking into account what those in charge says it will do.

All the same, those responsible for the new look GMC must be commended for establishing a facility that seeks to “highlight, promote and develop the country’s local products.”

The GMC has a long history of good intentions never realized.

Thos famous campaigns of the 70’s--- Self-Reliance, Grow More Food, Buy Local and Eat Local are memorable experiences for those who survived the imposed banning of what many considered to be basic, essential items.

There are analysts who believe that the concept of self-reliance is still necessary and attainable, though this must be achieved over a period of planning, preparation, moderation and national acceptance and support.

The failure of previous efforts by the GMC to promote local produce ands products seems to be because of its failure to adopt a proactive approach to its mandate.

The new concept of the revived GMC is reflected in the words of the Minister of Agriculture who commissioned the facility:

“ This Guyana Shop initiative aims at promoting only products made and grown in Guyana, and will also conduct some retail sales as a secondary focus.

The last GMC supermarket at the corner of Robb and Alexander Streets in the city, and which closed its doors for a few months, had enjoyed some limited support from the public for several years.

At first its stock represented 100 per cent local products. But then, perhaps because of some business imperative, this all-Guyana imperative was modified to accommodate some non-local items.

But never mind. There is an encouraging potential woven into the new establishment. This includes an estimated 400 local commodities on sale, including craft items, offering patrons a wide choice.

What the GMC had established over the years is a reputation for fair prices and fair deals. It can build on this.

We would think there is already a stable clientele, not as impressive perhaps as it could have been. But then now is the time to see that this grows.

The thousands of visitors expected to converge on our capital city for CWC World Cup Cricket presents an opportunity to be fully exploited by GMC and its proactive, promotional approach.

Non-traditional exports of our farm commodities have grown considerably over the past few years, and this with the active involvement of the GMC. These exports rose from 1,990 tonnes in 1992 to 4,400 tons last year, earning over $1.2B.

The Marketing and Information Centre will prove a boon to exporters and potential exporters.

With both Caricom and United States markets already open, and with others in Europe opening as well, farmers, manufacturers and craftsmen have excellent opportunities to do meaningful business.