The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) has ended a two-day Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Trade Fair in Monrovia, terming it as a clear manifestation of changing the country’s economy. In an interview with some of the Small Enterprises (SMs), yesterday, Patricia F. Gant, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Patom Enterprise said her organization is involved in cultivation, preservation, processing, and packaging of farm produce to help reduce post-harvest waste and promote food security in Liberia. Ms. Gant said Patom Enterprise is currently based in Montserrado County but makes business with all smallholders in the various counties to promote farmers, considering the lack of storage capacity in the country.Madam Gant said she was delighted to be part of this year’s Trade Fair and Patom Enterprise will remain focused in promoting food security in the country.“During the pepper season in Liberia, we have most of it wasting with the price being very low on the market. In the face of no buyer, I buy them and reprocess them. I do pepper sour, pepper powder with all farm produces because if we are supported, Liberians can eat what they produce and produce what they eat,” Ms. Gant said.She said there are many challenges in improving small enterprise in Liberia, especially taking an entrepreneur from one place to another, including the payment of business registration, which is sometimes delayed and results into losing contracts. “If your business is not registered up to date to give you tax clearance, there will be a long process, some time there is a delay for one or two months, and during that period, you will lose many contracts because you are waiting for tax’s clearance and this is challenging and the government must intervene,” Ms. Gant said. She said small businesses are asked to pay for withholding taxes for the space they are occupying on the farm as an office, and also pay for the land that is being used for the farming.“The government has refused to consider the lack of road infrastructure that is hampering farmers in transporting their commodities to their destinations,” she said. “The roads are not good and this results into the damage of farmers goods. If farmers are informed to pay for all the above, you are discouraging them from farming, because they will be paying too much money and getting less from their sales. There is the need for government to begin subsidizing farmers,” she stressed. She said that with support from the government and other international partners by 2030, there would be more millionaires from the small enterprise or the private sector. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) community of Linden will now benefit from the services offered by Assuria Life, Fire and General Insurance, as the company opened a branch in the mining town on Friday.A meet-and-greet and a ribbon-cutting exercise marked the official opening of the branch, situated at Republic Avenue, Mackenzie.Under its two registered companies (Life and General), Assuria will be offering services such as life, motor and fire insurance; bonds and contractors’ liability.Assuria General Manager Yogindra Arjune said the company was pleased and excited about extending its services to the Linden community and was optimistic that it would be successful. He noted that though the opening of the branch took a number of years, the timing was right.“The town is developing at a very rapid rate and we want to be here at the time when it is being developed. We want to play our part in developing Linden. So, we’re excited,” he stated.Arjune added that the company would be offering unique packages at affordable prices with easy payment options.“Contractors’ insurance, we’re very big in that and we want to help in every way possible to bring something unique to Linden…,” he said.Outgoing Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, who was present at the ceremony, expressed gratitude to the insurance company for investing in the town.“It shows that investors are building their confidence in our town and we’re happy that they would have seen it fit to invest and come to this end and also to employ Lindeners; which is good for us. We want to see more Lindeners being employed.“Besides that, the offering of insurance in affordable packages, I think that is good for Linden,” Holland stated.He added that the services which are offered by Assuria would also be beneficial to local contractors looking to secure bonds and the like, as there has been some difficulty faced in this regard.The outgoing Mayor said Assuria has also made a promise to fulfil its social responsibility to the community.The company has so far employed three Lindeners. Assuria, which is a Suriname- based company, currently has five branches across Guyana, some six years after it was established in this country. It has two branches in Trinidad.