UG gets $10M worth of refrigerant, equipment

27th April, 2018 0 comments

THE University of Guyana (UG) Faculty of Technology has received $10M worth of refrigerant and air-conditioning equipment and a new refrigerant management course to aid in the elimination of harmful ozone gases. This presentation was held on Tuesday at the Faculty of Technology and was made possible through collaborative efforts by the Ministry of Agriculture and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The kind gesture comes as a result of the HCFC Phase-Out Management Programme (HPMP) under the Montreal Protocol, which operates through the Hydromet Service of the Ministry of Agriculture. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons or HCFCs are gases used worldwide in refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam applications, which are known as Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).

In August 1993, Guyana ratified the Montreal Protocol which aims to systematically phase out the use of HCFCs and strengthen its global position on environmental protection. By adhering to the Montreal Protocol schedule, the complete phase-out of HCFCs is expected to be realised by 2030. However, in order for Guyana to successfully meet this goal, individuals must be trained in new and emergent technologies, which will replace the substances and equipment being phased out.

As such, the 8-10 week Refrigerant Management Course will target electrical and mechanical engineering students, as well as industry professionals who wish to acquire additional certification. Meanwhile, the equipment donated, which include Visual and Automotive Refrigeration and Air-conditioning training units, as well as several other tools, will help students to better comprehend the course. Support for this initiative was provided in part by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol, while the UNDP, UN Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture partnered to execute the project.

Delivering the keynote remarks was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd, who said that the undertaking is a part of the government’s long-term plan for sustainable development. Between 2011 to present, more than 125 technicians were provided with training on good refrigeration practices and alternative technologies, while some 80 technicians are trained annually through the HCFC Phase-Out Management Programme. This has contributed to a significant reduction in the number of untrained service personnel operating in the sector.

“The Ministry of Agriculture is pleased to be partnering with the Faculty of Technology through this initiative, which is expected to accrue significant long-term benefits for both the environment and human development in Guyana,” she remarked. Nedd said Guyana’s strategy to phase out the importation of HCFCs includes the introduction of an import licensing system, as well as a national standard for the safe servicing of refrigerants and conditioning equipment. Meanwhile, UNDP Representative Mikiko Tanaka, said implementation of the training programme and the acquisition of equipment will increase Guyana’s capacity to successfully manage and eliminate ODSs.

She re-affirmed the UNDP’s support for Guyana and commended UG for incorporating the training in its curriculum. Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Elena Trim, told the gathering that as Guyana moves steadily ahead into the oil and gas era, buildings which will spring up will require central air-conditioning systems. As such, she said that both mechanical and electrical engineers must be fully aware of how to deal with the new equipment in the sector.

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University of Guyana Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry gets New Offices and Study Room

7th March, 2018 0 comments

“We had some realities that we needed to change and we must find ways to use this new reality adequately, safely and in our best interest.” This was the declaration by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Ivelaw Griffith as he gave remarks at the official opening of new offices and a study room at the University’s Turkeyen Campus.

With the addition of new programmes within the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, there was a demand for the expansion of the building in order to create an environment more conducive to teaching and research.

The project which had been in the pipeline for a number of years, came to fruition under the current Dean of the faculty, Owen Bovell who noted that, “ The Vice-Chancellor and I worked together and we got an initiation of the process of the building, and we are grateful as a faculty for this new facility and we will take pride in it”

Also present at the ceremony was the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd who pointed to the fact that the building’s purpose further assists her ministry.

“This enclosure has now created more space for agriculture, training research and conversation as we move towards agriculture research and education in Guyana,” Nedd remarked.

The PS also went on to say that due to the economy’s domination by natural resources and agriculture production; and in light of the fact that a national consultation on establishing a University of Guyana Institute of Food and Nutrition Security between Ministry of Agriculture and University of Guyana was recently convened, the work of the faculty is only just beginning.

Also present at the ceremony were lecturers of the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and President of University of Guyana Students Society.

The new extension which cost $30M houses five additional offices which would cater for eight more staff members, a sanitary block which also caters for the physically disabled, along with a study room, fire escape and a patio. The expansion was managed by a building committee which assessed the needs of students and staff in order to make the space comfortable and accessible.

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Gov't eyes doubling agriculture production in near future - Minister Holder

20th November, 2017 0 comments

With the aim of producing safe, healthy and nutritious foods for consumption at home and abroad, Guyana will be moving to double its agricultural production over next few years, Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder has said.

The Minister was speaking at a consultation last Friday, organised by the University of Guyana (UG) at the Marriot Hotel which sought a collaboration with the government on the establishment of an Institute of Food and Nutrition Security.

According to Minister Holder, Guyana has generally been regarded as the breadbasket of the Caribbean, being a net exporter of food in CARICOM. The portfolio he said has placed the country in a position of great responsibility with challenges to meet the region’s food needs.

He said the government has however taken note of the increased challenges to food and nutrition security, especially those of the impact of climate change and changes in the trade environment.

“We are, therefore, constantly reviewing our efforts to ensure that production of food is conducted in a manner that is safe for both the population and the environment,” he said.

In order to guarantee inclusiveness of all, Minister Holder said the government has adopted a multi-sectoral approach to ensure that all stakeholders play a meaningful role in addressing the key pillars of food security: availability, accessibility, utilisation, and stability.

“While we continue to face challenges, we have implemented and sustained various initiatives which support the integration of efforts to address food and nutrition security. These initiatives address all four pillars mentioned,” Minister Holder said.

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