12 Jan

Local company meeting the demand for value-added products

first_imgWhat started as a healthy lifestyle choice for a diabetic mother of five and her family is now on the cusp of being a thriving business that could generate employment for others.Owner and Manager of King Chezomi Manufacturing Enterprise, Hafeeza SmithHafeeza Smith, 35, of Lot 718 Number One Road, East Berbice Corentyne, is the proud manufacturer of a variety of locally produced organic products such as extra virgin coconut oil, macerated carrot oil, coconut flour, coconut snacks, among others under her company, King Chezomi Manufacturing Enterprise.Smith explained that after being diagnosed as a diabetic and having difficulty finding economically healthy products, she decided to begin experimenting in 2015 with extra virgin coconut oil. The innovator noted, when she began producing the oil it was on a small scale for herself, as well as friends and family.However, after receiving positive feedback, she was encouraged to increase her production. She said her friends would also share with others, and some customers took samples overseas.According to a feature done by Department of Public Information (DPI), Smith managed to perfect the formula in 2017 and heeded President David Granger’s call to become an entrepreneur after her husband suffered an injury and was out of a job for over three months. She began selling to neighbours who helped spread the word and the demand for her extra virgin coconut oil continued to increase.“After my husband’s injury … the money I was making came in useful, then I started to think should something happen to him what could I do because I was just a housewife. I tested the local market but many persons didn’t know much of the extra virgin coconut oil and only buy the regular ones.”The mother of five said she was determined to get others to eat healthily and approached a local printing company to assist in making her product labels more appealing. Smith said she then targeted the markets outside her region and overseas.A variety of the oils produced by Smith’s company King Chezomi Manufacturing EnterpriseRealising that people were craving healthy food, Smith decided to invest in mills and other equipment to produce on a larger scale while ensuring she maintained a high standard of consistency by working in hygienic conditions.Smith also attended a one-week workshop on adding value to agro-processing, hosted by the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA). She now has plans to further enhance her already special extra virgin coconut oil by adding flavours and other unique ingredients to make it more appealing.Having gained the trust of her loyal customers and heeding their call to introduce more products, the enterprising innovator has moved on to producing coconut flour that can be used for everyday cooking and baking. The flour, she remarked, “is high in fibre and gluten-free, very healthy for persons who have gluten allergies, persons suffering from diabetes and hypertension.”Smith has set her sights on producing breadfruit flour, breadfruit chips, tomato powder and powered pepper among many other products in the near future.“My whole plan is to do healthy products which Guyanese can afford. There is no reason for us to use things that have ingredients in them that we can’t pronounce or things people say are good for us and we end up spending a lot of money but have no benefits.”Having grown up humbly and understanding the struggles of a housewife and working with a small budget for her five children aged two and a half to 15, she has decided to market her products at affordable prices to encourage customers to practice a healthier lifestyle.She is appealing to Guyanese, especially Berbicians, to get off the “import bandwagon.”“We have many locally produced items that are organic and healthier but many have this mindset that because it is a local item it is not good. We have to move away from that and invest in proper packaging and better conditions for maintaining excellent quality. The same items we refuse are being sold elsewhere for a lot of money,” Smith said.Smith’s ultimate goal is to expand her business and see her products lining the shelves of local supermarkets and stores countrywide.last_img read more

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1 Sep

Microsoft lists the reasons you need Xbox Live Gold on Xbox One

first_imgCome launch day of the Xbox One and PS4, both Sony and Microsoft would love you to sign up for a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription. And in the case of Xbox Live, Microsoft has now confirmed that spending $60 a year is pretty much mandatory if you want to do anything other than play single-player games.The official Xbox website has been updated to include a breakdown of how to get the most from the Xbox One with Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 owners are already used to some of the restrictions in place that require a Gold subscription to unlock. They include access to multiplayer gaming, allowing you to stream premium 3rd-party content, the ability to use Internet Explorer on your TV, and gaining access to exclusive deals and special offers.For Xbox One, the list of features hidden behind the Live Gold subscription expands by five to include:The NFL on XboxOneGuideGame DVRSkypeSmartMatchI think the most surprising service on that list to require Gold is Skype–a service Microsoft should really be pushing as hard as it can and one that can generate revenue itself. OneGuide, Game DVR, and SmartMatch are likely to be the key draws alongside multiplayer to entice Xbox One owners to sign up, though.OneGuide is the TV overlay feature, allowing you to bring up information such as trending programming while you watch TV as well as customizing your viewing experience. SmartMatch goes hand-in-hand with multiplayer and is meant to take the pain out of matching/pairing players for online play. And then we have Game DVR, which is the Xbox One’s ability to record and share your best gaming moments with others.One of the growing complaints about Xbox Live in general on the Xbox 360 is the amount of advertising Microsoft injected into the experience. That is probably going to continue, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sony do the same in a bid to generate more cash from its online service.My main gripe with paying for Live Gold or PlayStation Plus for the new consoles is the fact they aren’t free for the first year, or at least offered at a discount price. I am paying a minimum of $399 or $499 for the console hardware and they want another $50-$60 to unlock a relatively long list of additional features, some of which are integral to the game playing experience. Microsoft is offering a free copy of Killer Instinct if you pre-order Live Gold, but I’d much rather see a more permanent discount if you sign up for a year from a brand new console.last_img read more

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