The Government on Monday formally announced its intention close operations at the Wales Sugar Estate.
The administration said there will be no further land preparation and planting at the estate with immediate effect.
To this end, it has clarified that workers at Wales will be absorbed by Uitvlugt, up to the extent of suitable vacancies on that location.
Surplus labour will be made redundant.
The Government Information Agency (GINA) said the Wales Estate is by far the estate in the poorest shape with regards to drainage and irrigation, bridges, cultivation and factory operability.
The Ministry of Agriculture acknowledged the fact that the investment required to refurbish the Wales estate remains significant and said the finances are simply not available.
“Diverting funds from the other estates to keep Wales afloat would seriously jeopardize the future of these estates. This cannot be allowed to happen,” the GINA release noted.
The government concluded that it was impossible to make sugar production at Wales viable. “This is made worse by the gloomy outlook for sugar prices for the foreseeable future.
Wales estate is projected to make a loss of G$1.6 -$1.9 Billion in 2016. This coupled with the extent of refurbishment needed, rendered the estate prohibitively costly to maintain,” the release added.
The government explained that as the estate’s cultivation is harvested, the land would be retired and held for other diversification ventures. Additionally, the Wales factory would operate throughout 2016 milling both the estate’s and farmers’ canes.
It will be closed at the end of the 2016 2nd crop. With effect from 2017, farmers’ canes will be milled at the Uitvlugt factory. During this year the routing of the farmers’ canes to Uitvlugt would be determined to ensure the least additional cost.
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will be exploring the feasibility of alternative ventures utilizing the Wales lands.
The important criteria for such projects would be wealth creation and employment generation. It is hoped that the first of such projects could commence by October 1, 2016.