―Uitvlugt Sugar Estate hosts 2nd ‘Fam tour’.
As Agriculture Month activities continue, scores of employees within the ministry’s departments and agencies, on Tuesday, benefited from a ‘Fam tour’ facilitated by the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate.
The four-hour excursion allowed persons to witness some of the old and new practices of the facility and to learn about its future operational plans. The tour was guided by Estate Agronomist, Andre Moore and Farm Manager, Andrew McLeod. Moore gave an overview of the breeding, selection and variety development of the sugar cane plants, while Mcleod was tasked with presenting a lecture on the production of sugar cane.
The journey began at the field laboratory’s nursery where the participants saw several new varieties of canes received from the Agriculture Research Committee (ARC) at GUYSUCO head office. Mcleod explained that once the varieties are found to be successful, it then becomes commercial. The team was led to the primary, secondary and commercial nursery fields.
Next, the visitors were taken on a fifteen-minute drive, where they experienced firsthand the process of transporting cane into cultivation, using punts. A trip was then made to another field to see the types of cane layouts and the different stages of cane growth.
Further on, the guests were taken to the harvesting field, where the matured cane is being harvested manually. This involved the cutting and packing of cane into small bundles before being loaded by a labourer into punts.
Visitors then boarded an estate lorry and travelled to another section of the facility where semi-mechanical harvesting is done. Here, the cutting, packing and loading on cane onto the punts is done by machines. The group proceeded lastly to the factory to witness the cane being transported for the extraction of sugar.
“The trip was very impressive. Everyone who viewed the various areas was intrigued at what they saw. The roadways were all accessible, the drainage and irrigation were also on par,” Mcleod said.
Estate Manager, Yudhisthira Mana, highlighted that the exercise is the second of its kind to have occurred at the sugar factory. He said the plant has seen significant growth in its operation over the past three years – an improvement he noted, was made possible by an effective and cooperative task force at the location.
In his remarks, Mana also highlighted his satisfaction that the junior Agriculture Minister was among the day’s visitors. “Today has been a very interesting day since we have in our company Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture… it is the first time, we would have had quite that close contact with the minister on this location.”
For her part, Minister within the Ministry of Agriculture, with responsibility for Rural Affairs, Hon. Valerie Adams-Yearwood indicated her approval with production ongoing at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate. She noted that similar exercises will be conducted at other estates in Guyana, aimed at familiarising citizens with their operations.
The ‘Fam tour’ is among a list of activities identified in the observance of Agriculture Month 2019. The term FAM stands for Familiarisation. The Tours – commonly known as FAM Trips – are events organised by an agency or company to educate individuals about the products and services, while also promoting it.