The Rose Hall Sugar Estate is poised to make a grand comeback in 2023, with the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Government dedicating some $1.195 billion towards aiding its reopening in the second crop of this year.
The iconic property is among the sugar factories closed under the previous APNU+AFC Government.
The fund will go towards the purchasing of one semi mechanical plant trailer, four fix spray tractors, fertiliser applicator, boom sprayers, 200 drainage tubes and 260 cane punts, among other necessary equipment.
This detail was provided to the Parliamentary Committee of Supply Tuesday morning, by Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha.
He was at the time responding to a question posed by Opposition Member of Parliament Vinceroy Jordan on the $2 billion stipulated for the Guyana Sugar Cooperation (GuySuCo).
“We could have saved some of the money, but they left some of the punts to rot when they left office, and now we have to build back the punts,” Minister Mustapha said.
From the amount, the minister stated that a total of $539 million will go towards completing major works on the Rose Hall factory alone.
The investment will see the rehabilitation of millers, cane gantry component, cane carrier, broiler component and scales.
Another $50 million will be injected into the construction of buildings and roads around the factory.
The government has successfully completed 75 per cent of major works at the East Canje plant, in its ardent quest to returning “smoke to its chimney,” the agriculture minister noted.
“We have almost 3,000 hectares of cane that is ready for the second crop 2022 that will be harvested, that will give us approximately eight to 10 weeks of grinding,” he underscored.
Meanwhile, another $452 million is allocated to the Albion estate to purchase tractors, fertiliser applicator and boom sprayer. Some $300 million is also set aside to begin constructing the packaging plant there.
Further, a sum of $287 million was approved by the supply committee to advance works at the Blairmont factory, with $200 million budgeted to expand the packaging plant’s operation.
Accordingly, a total of $56 million will be injected to enhance the Uitvlugt estate.
The minister posited that GuySuCo has made significant contributions towards the development of the country’s economy, noting that the industry will become profitable again.
“GuySuCo has never failed and it will never fail… GuySuCo is supporting almost half of the population in certain areas, and we will continue to support GuySuCo, because the agency is making a big difference in our country,” the agriculture minister asserted.
The minister restated the government’s efforts to modernise the agriculture sector of which the sugar industry is a vital part.
“Let me say this, Mr. Chairman, GuySuCo is responsible for all or most of the wealth that we own today. Even the National Cultural Centre we had money taken from GuySuCo to build… it is making a valuable contribution for our country’s economy,” the minister posited.