The PPP/C Government has allocated some $6 billion to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) this year, as it plans to turn around the industry’s field and factory operations.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said the allocation will see strategic investments being made at the Albion, Blairmont, and Uitvlugt factories.
Presenting the fiscal package to the National Assembly Wednesday, the finance minister stated that government’s aim is to ensure the industry produce more value-added products for domestic and international markets.
He said major focus will be place on upgrading and mechanising the field operations, and expanding packaging capabilities.
Since the PPP/C Administration took office in August 2020, it has been proactive in focusing on reopening and recapitalising the closed estates, as well as rationalising cost structures and diversifying the sugar sales mix to maximise earnings.
“These investments will be undertaken with the ultimate objective of ensuring that each estate is able to break in the not too-distant future,” he said.
In anticipation of improved production levels, GuySuCo will be concentrating its marketing efforts on shifting from the low-value bulk-sugar markets to more bagged and packaged sugar products.
To this end, Dr. Singh stated, that these products will increase from 34 percent in 2020 to 64 percent of total production in 2022.
Minister Singh said government wants the sugar industry to remain steadfast and production to expand, despite being shattered during previous APNU+AFC Government tenure.
Additionally, he told the House over 5,000 workers who were severed between 2016 and 2017 received cash grants of $250,000 in 2021.
“I am pleased to announce to this honourable House that over 1,300 persons have been reemployed with GuySuCo and are now able to provide a livelihood for their families,” Dr. Singh added.
“Mr. Speaker, in 2022, Government has allocated $6 billion to support GuySuCo’s ongoing investment in field and factory operations to turn around the industry, while we continue to consider the possibility of engaging private investor interest also in some of the estates,” the minister announced.