Guyana re-examines export of prefab houses
Guyana has not been exporting pre-fabricated houses for almost two years now, despite demand for the commodity in the Caribbean.
However, the Guyana Forestry Commission has been encouraging this phenomenon, since it is promoting more value added production in Guyana.
The Commission had been working with manufacturers to facilitate the process and to ensure that a standard quality product is being exported to the Caribbean.
Caribbean islands have the greatest demand for this type of house, which is more affordable and competitive in terms of price.
Speaking with Kaieteur News yesterday, one manufacturer of pre-fabricated houses in Guyana, Danny Ameerally, said that at present is he relocating his operations, and as such has not been able to accommodate export for some time now.
Ameerally, who is the owner of Wood Associated Industry (WAICO), said that his operations were originally in Berbice, but he began experiencing difficulties in transporting containers across the Berbice River to facilitate export.
He said that he took a business decision to relocate his operations at Land of Canaan, East Bank Demerara, which is a more convenient location from which to sell overseas.
“My forestry concession is in Kwakwani. At Land of Canaan, it is earlier to commute to Kwakwani. The working factory is now being set-up. Shipping has to be a major consideration when exporting pre-fabricated houses, because you have to utilise containers properly, because, if you don’t, you will be paying for containers that have lots of space going out,” Ameerally said.
He added that while the market is there for the sale of this type of house, his production capability has been hampered until he gets the operation up and running.
The national log export policy has been designed to stimulate more activities in the forestry sector.
Persons who manufacture pre-fabricated houses are not required to pay export commission on their product.
This is also applicable to persons who manufacture furniture and other value added products within the forestry sector.
Timber companies which do not have forestry concessions in Guyana will not be allowed to export logs, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud said last week. This decision is in keeping with an announcement by President Bharrat Jagdeo to deter the exportation of the forest product and to allow for more value added activities in the country.
Commenting on the announcement by President Jagdeo last Tuesday on the increased export commission on popular species of logs, Minister Persaud said that the log export policy is a mechanism to encourage much more value added production in the country.
“It is not a mechanism to increase revenue…it is a way to make it much more competitive and much more profitable for the sector to utilise the raw materials and do the value added activities in Guyana.”
According to Persaud, the Guyana Forestry Commission will have examined the response by stakeholders to this new policy.
“The motive here is not to earn more…the motive is to encourage value added production within the industry. There will be tremendous national gains that we project will result from this policy.”
Prefabricated homes are dwellings manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled.
Many of the current prefab home designs on the market have jovial, eclectic elements of postmodernism, or the clean, simple lines of futurism.