The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has re-employed close to 500 persons at the Rose Hall Sugar Estate, to strengthen the factory’s workforce, to begin operation.
During the consideration of Estimates and Expenditures of Budget 2022 on Tuesday, Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P, announced that some 41 per cent of works in the factory has been completed.
He said the estate’s administrative body continues to embark on strategic plans, specifically to improve cultivation.
“When we took over, the cultivation was abandoned, there was bushes all around. We had to do new tilling, we had to have enough cane in the cultivation, we have to ensure we rehabilitate the entire factory, we have to ensure that we have enough punts…” the agriculture minister stressed.
Works valued some $18.5 million were conducted last year at the factory to rehabilitate the process house roof, while another $26.7 million contract was awarded for the replacement of the number two chimney. Resources were also made available to repair the boiler and the milling plant roof.
Meanwhile, Minister Mustapha said the $4 billion budgeted to conduct critical works at GuySuCo, will further accelerate the administration’s plan to revitalise the sugar industry.
“That is our main objective, to break even…as I said the three operating estates, we will enhance that tremendously this year, and we are moving to ensure that we add value to the component of the production…the $4 billion that is in the capital programme will go to do that,” he stated.
The minister also said GuySuCo has proven to be an entity that goes way beyond the provision of sugar.
“Sugar is our culture, GuySuCo encompasses many other things than sugar. In certain areas it caused NDIA to spend approximately $1.8 billion on drainage and irrigation work that was provided by GuySuCo before.
That is the social thing that GuySuCo does in these communities. So, whatever it takes to bring back GuySuCo, the PPP/C Government will ensure that we make the resources available,” Minister Mustapha underscored.
The sugar corporation has already re-introduced mechanical harvesting at the Blairmont Sugar Estate to boost manual operations.
Another $6 billion has been allocated to GuySuCo this year, to further turn around the industry’s field and factory operations.
Government will focus mainly on upgrading and mechanising the field operations, and expanding packaging capabilities.
The administration wants the sugar industry to remain steadfast and production to expand, despite being shattered during previous APNU+AFC Government tenure.
Minister Mustapha told the National Assembly that the administration will continue to reemploy persons who were fired under the former APNU+AFC Coalition Administration.
He chided the parliamentary opposition for the wasteful usage of the $30 billion bond guaranteed by the National Industrial and Commercial Investment (NICIL), noting that the PPP/C only recovered $3.8 billion from that sum when it returned to office.