The Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) Wales Estate has been identified to play a major role in government’s thrust to rebrand and revitalise the sugar company to make it viable.
According to Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder, Government is examining the feasibility of converting the factory into plants that will process dairy products and fruit juices among other products.
The re-organisation of the West Demerara factory will create opportunities for local farmers since Minister Holder foresees lands which will no longer be utilised for sugar cane cultivation being allocated to them for cattle rearing, and cultivation of various crops, which will be required for the operations of the juice plant.
“We can see the land being used for dairy production, and we can see some land being made available to people in the area so that they could farm and provide milk, provide fruit juices, provide things of that nature, and we would want to see that replicated in other estates.”
He said, “This administration has now rationalised the Wales situation where you join Wales and Uitvlugt so that the Uitvlugt factory can now work at 100% efficiency.” The latter is operating at 50 percent productivity.
The merger is in keeping with government’s quest to diversify and make GuySuCo more efficient, the Agriculture Minister emphasised.
He expressed satisfaction with what has been achieved with the estate because it presents “…an opportunity to convert the estate, into a model for other areas within the sugar industry’s diversification.”
Agricultural workers at Wales have been offered employment at Uitvlugt where there is enough work for all of them, according to GuySuCo, but some have opted for severance pay.
Minister Holder explained that the Wales factory is the oldest in the country, and it is inefficient, hence the decision to convert it into a viable alternative. The ministry had earlier stated that the factory would require tremendous amounts of investments to rehabilitate it, investments which the government could not afford.
The Government’s thrust to rebrand GuySuCo as an agricultural entity is hinged on the company being heavily dependent on government’s subventions and the imminent removal of preferential prices for sugar on the world market.
Guyana’s efforts to diversify its agricultural sector are set to receive a major boost from a Brazilian company, New Frontier Agriculture Guyana Incorporated. The company is prepared to cultivate its first crops of soya and corn on a model farm in the country’s intermediate savannahs in a matter of days.
New Frontier Agriculture Guyana Inc. has successfully conducted trial of the commodities on 25 acres of land owned by the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).
The company is currently working to develop the approximately 10,000 acres of land in the intermediate savannahs in Ebini in the Berbice River. This farm will be used as a model demonstration station for development of the entire savannahs. Improved pastures for cattle, sheep, goats and horses are also planned.
The government is currently pursuing development of the intermediate savannahs for the introduction of new crops and livestock. The country’s coastland lies approximately six feet below sea level, and with the prevailing change in climate; the country needs to move its agriculture base inward, to minimise crop loss, according to Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder.
The government’s thrust for development in the agricultural sector for the next five years is hinged on the drive to diversify and expand production in nontraditional areas. Continue reading
Stakeholders today, began participating in a two-day National Consultation on Climate Services, intended to guide the development and application of science-based climate information and services in support of decision making in climate sensitive sectors.
The event also seeks to strengthen the interactions between climate service providers and those that utilise the services.
In addition, participants will discuss the use of climate information in decision making in general, and will look at ways to mainstream climate services in four priority sectors of the Global Framework for Climate Service (GFCS): Agriculture and Food Security, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Health and Water.
The consultation is being executed by the Hydrometeorological Service of Guyana, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the Global Framework for Climate Service (GFCS), Environment of Canada and Caribbean Institute for Meteorology & Hydrology (CIMH).
Addressing the opening session at the Pegasus Hotel, Kingston,Adrian Trotman, with responsibility for the agricultural meteorology programme, CIMH explained that this is the 5th national consultation on climate change services, being executed in the Caribbean. Similar exercises were conducted in Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Dominica and Suriname, he said, with the intention of paving the way for climate services at the different countries’ national level. Continue reading