Although the sugar industry remains on the decline, the Government will be pumping more money into the industry in its revitalization efforts.
The Minister of Finance announced the allocation of $6 Billion to support the Guyana Sugar Corporations’ (GUYSUCO) field and factory operations in hopes of turning around the industry.
For over a decade, GUYSUCO has been operating a loss but billions of tax dollars continue to be pumped into the industry to bail it out of its financial woes.
The Finance Minister during his budget presentation today said the government’s commitment to the sugar industry remains.
He said the Government has been proactive in focusing on reopening and recapitalizing the closed estates as well as rationalizing cost structures.
“Mr. Speaker, diversifying the sugar sales mix to maximise earnings; re-engaging previously displaced workers; and repositioning the industry on a sustainable path to profitability. Since taking office in August 2020, the focus has been on rehabilitation of assets and retooling of the estates. Looking ahead at 2022, strategic investments will be made at Albion, Blairmont, and Uitvlugt, to upgrade and mechanise where appropriate the field operations, and expand packaging capabilities to produce more value-added products for our domestic and international markets,” the government aimed to do this year the Finance Minister said.
The Finance Minister also said the continued investments in the sugar industry will be undertaken with the ultimate objective of ensuring that each estate is able to be back up and running in the future.
“The Guyana Sugar Corporation will be concentrating its marketing efforts on shifting from the low-value bulk-sugar markets to more bagged and packaged sugar products. To this end, these products will increase from 34 percent in 2020 to 64 percent of total production in 2022,” The Finance Minister said.
Since taking office, Dr. Singh said over 1,300 sugar workers who were dismissed under the previous government have been re-employed.
The same workers who received their severance pay under the previous government received additional cash support from the PPP government last year.