APNU+AFC Presidential Candidate David Granger on Tuesday gave his word that the sugar industry which is currently plagued by many challenges will stay alive under an APNU+AFC government.
“We are not going to throw the sugar industry through the window,” he assured when questioned by News Source moments after addressing the local business community at a lunchtime meeting at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.
Mr. Granger clarified that while the recently formed coalition is still working on its unified action plan (manifesto), it will definitely be pushing for a turnaround plan for the sugar sector which would include a change in management and reconstitution of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) Board of Directors.
“There is no quick fix but we are not going to dissolve the sugar industry… it is too big to be fail,” he said.
Many sugar workers who are believed to be predominantly supporters of the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had express fear in 2014 that the opposition was unwilling to support the industry when it disapproved some funding. The opposition has always raised concern about the failure of the current administration to put together a workable plan for the industry.
Granger said sugar workers ought not to be fearful since the APNU+AFC coalition will put together a comprehensive plan to tackle all of the problems facing the industry.
“But we don’t want to pump millions of dollars into an industry that is being badly managed and administered,” he added.
He said the turnaround plan will have no immediate impact on jobs but will see the gradual transfer of field production into private hands while factory operations will continue to be centralized.
By doing this, it is hoped that there will be increased field production. The coalition’s substantial plan in this regard will be made public in the coming weeks when the action plan is published.
Granger said his Party’s strategy is to reduce the economy’s reliance on sugar and rice and move towards diversification and more investment in manufacturing and trade.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Candidate also hinted that the coalition intends to push ahead with the stalled Amaila Falls Hydropower project.
The combined opposition had denied funding for this project too in the Assembly on the grounds of lack of accountability and transparency.
He said his strategy to solve the problem of cheap and reliable power could incorporate Amailia.
Filed: 18th March, 2015