In spite of ongoing challenges, the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) management is optimistic of meeting the first sugar crop target of 80,500 tonnes.
According to Finance Director, Paul Bhim, the production up to today was 11,243 tonnes. He said that all of the factories recently started grinding except for Skeldon which is due to begin on Thursday.
The company’s production has remained somewhat favourable, despite the prevailing dry conditions, as GuySuCo has been managing its water supply, with some recent rainfall helping in this regard, the senior GuySuCo official stated.
The industry however faces another threatened one-day strike by the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAAWU) which is planned for Tuesday. The company is taking measures to prepare for this possibility, according to Bhim. The union has called for a 24-hour strike every Tuesday to press for wage negotiations, the Annual Performance Incentive and the closure of the Wales, to be ironed out.
According to Bhim, the strike called last Tuesday was not as widespread or effective as GAWU anticipated as those who took strike action would not be paid for the day.
The industry is seeking to continue reversing its ineffective performance and return to profitability eventually. The merging of the Wales and Utivlugt Estates is one of the measures being taken to ensure this goal is achieved. The overall target for 2016 is approximately 240,000 tonnes.
GuySuCo achieved 231, 1450 tonnes of sugar in 2015 surpassing its 227, 443 tonnes target. After an 11-year hiatus, the second crop target of 146, 300 tonnes was surpassed by more than 3, 700 tonnes.
Government has approved the sum of $9Billion for the corporation for 2016. It said that although the company achieved the 2015 targets, it still has to battle weakening prices, aged machinery and high production costs.