President assures GAWU that Government will not “walk away” from sugar

President assures GAWU that Government will not “walk away” from sugar

-by Svetlana Marshall-

Declaring that the Government will not walk away from sugar, President Irfaan Ali declared today that his Administration is prepared to bring in experts from Guatemala and India to help with the management of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

“We are talking with India, with Guatemala to find the technical support service to complement the management of GuySuCo. We are bringing in support management that will enable us to have the best, most well-equipped management service to drive the innovation, the change and the survival of the Sugar Industry,” the President said.

The President delivered an address this morning at the opening ceremony of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) 22nd Delegates’ Conference.

The Conference opened at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Over the past three years, the current Administration has injected $17 Billion into the sugar company, with the aim of recapitalizing the sugar industry and getting it back to a state of profitability. Though it appears like a long shot, following several years of decline, the President said more investments will still be made in the sugar industry.

“In three years, my friends, we have spent $17B to recapitalize the Sugar Industry. We have spent $8.8B in Rose Hall. We have reemployed almost 2,000 employees added back to the payroll; 1,100 employees to Rose Hall alone. The Rose Hall Factor is 95% completed,” the President said.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation, Sasenarine Singh told the opening of the conference that the Rose Hall Sugar Estate will be reopened on the 23rd September. The Rose Hall estate was among the estates closed down under the previous government as part of their restructuring plan.

“His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, charged the leadership of the industry in October 2020 to re-open the Rose Hall Estate.  With the financial and technical support of his Government, the Estate is set to start grinding closer to September 23,” Singh said.

Mr. Singh told the conference that last year, GuySuCo introduced an improved personal performance incentive scheme aimed at increasing productivity and simultaneously improving socio-economic livelihood of workers.

It is hoped that with that and other measures, including the reopening of the Rose Hall Estate, the corporation would be able to boost production soon.

If GuySuCo meets its production target this year, it could earn in excess of $12 Billion.

The Sugar Corporation has set itself an ambitious production target of 60,000 tonnes for this year, but eight months into the year, only 10,000 tonnes of sugar has been produced so far.

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