Uitvlugt Estate has met and surpassed its production target for the first crop of 2018.
Uitvlugt is one of the three estates remaining under Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) management after the downsizing that led to the closure of the other estates in 2017.
According to a release from NICIL-SPU+GuySuCo, the estate surpassed the production target after grinding for seven weeks.
NICIL-SPU+GuySuCo is the acronym for the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited- Special Purpose Unit. Together both have control over GuySuCo, as well as four closed estates that are up for divestment and privatization.
With regards to the Uitvlugt performance, the statement explained that the surpassing of the target was achieved despite severe mechanical and processing challenges affecting efficiencies at the onset of the crop.
“The Factory Engineering Services Unit in collaboration with the Uitvlugt Factory team, worked to ensure that those defects were quickly corrected. As a result, the estate was able to surpass its Weekly Production Target for four of the seven weeks during the grinding period.”
The statement noted that surpassing the production target is a significant achievement for the Uitvlugt Estate, and a testimony of the teamwork and leadership at the estate.
“In addition to leadership, the rehabilitation of the cultivation which was started two years ago, and revised harvesting procedures in the crop, assisted immensely in the estate achieving its target.”
Uitvlugt produced a total of 7,011 tonnes of sugar from crushing 84,295 tonnes of sugarcane. The target set for the estate for the first crop was 6,671 tonnes. Private sugarcane farmers produced 42% (35,176 tonnes) of the crushed sugarcane.
Chief Executive Officer (ag), Paul Bhim, said that “the performance of Uitvlugt Estate for this first crop is the first validation of the new strategy to downsize the company and focus its best talent on making the estates more efficient and ultimately profitable.”
He added that, “given the developments at the other two GuySuCo Estates – Albion and Blairmont, we expect the same improved performance to become a trend.”
Uitvlugt estate so far leads the way for the crop by achieving four Weekly Production Targets.
“In keeping with GuySuCo’s agreements, employees were rewarded with four days’ pay as incentive for their hard work, commitment and outstanding achievements during the crop.”
Head of NICIL-SPU Colvin Heath-London said that “the performance of the Uitvlugt Estate is very encouraging, especially at this time when the SPU is securing funding for the operations of GuySuCo. The funding has been predicated on improved production performance from GuySuCo’s three estates.”
GuySuCo and NICIL-SPU are all under pressure to perform, after a dismal three years where $32B in public funds bailouts was sunk into an industry with little to show. Production plunged to one of the lowest in a decade.
The administration has closed four estates and placed them for sale and divestment.
A good showing of three remaining estates of GuySuCo would spell good news for the government and potential buyers.