Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2017 Contents BG22 | REGIONAL
BUSINESS GUARDIAN guardian.co.tt MAY 11 • 2017
Guyana to reduce sugar
production, close factories
The Government has announced plans
to scale back on sugar production
with the closure of some factories .
The announcement was made on
Monday by Agriculture Minister Noel
Holder as he presented a "State Paper
on the future of the Sugar Industry" in Parliament.
He disclosed that the Government will retain only
three factories and take over health and drainage
and irrigation services offered by the Guyana Sugar
Corporation (GuySuCo)- all aimed at producing a
targeted 147,000 tonnes of the sweetener annually
at a profitable price.
According to Holder, the government has also start-
ed the process of soliciting Expressions of Interest
(EOI) for the divestment of the state-of-the-art, Skel-
don Sugar Factory because Guysuco cannot afford
the amount of monies required to fix that facility.
According to Holder, the monies from Skeldon
would help to bail out the cash-strapped and debt
burdened state-owned corporation.
"Funds generated from the divestment of Skeldon
Estate will go towards reducing the Corporation's debt
and supporting its capital programmes for both sugar
and the diversification initiatives," he said.
The Government proposes that sugar production
should be contracted to approximately 147,000 tonnes
of sugar annually produced from Albion, Blairmont
and Uitvlugt Estates, to satisfy the demand in the
local markets , the Caribbean Community (Caricom)
theUnited States and the World Market tonnes.
The administration said focus would be on produc-
ing for direct consumption, value-added sugars and
providing electricity to the national grid (co-gen-
The State as the sole owner of GuySuCo, according
to Holder, "will retain as many workers needed for
all operations of the merged estates and factories.
Holder also disclosed that GuySuCo's sugar op-
erations will be limited to the Albion-Rosehall,
Wales-Uitvlugt, and Blairmont factories with the
aim of producing annually 174,000 tonnes of sugar
He said the Albion and Rose Hall estate's cultivation
will be amalgamated and will result in the closure of
the Rose Hall factory at the end of this year with some
of the lands being made available for diversification.
Another factory, the Enmore factory will closed at
the end of the year when all cane would have been
harvested while the East Coast Estates have been
earmarked for diversification. CMC
...Govt to make
provisions for workers
With plans in the making to downsize the produc-
tion of sugar, the Government says provisions are
being made for workers in the industry.
Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder in presenting
the State Paper on the future of the sugar industry to
the National Assembly on Monday said the Guyana
Sugar Corporation (GUYSUCO) is the country's single
largest employer for the "entire history of independ-
However, there has been a sharp decline in the
number of workers employed by the industry over
the decade 2006 to 2015.
Additionally, migration of skilled and experienced
managers, exhaustion of cash reserves, deteriorating
field infrastructure and factories, and an unstable and
adversarial industrial relations climate have contrib-
uted to the decline.
"Low labour turnout has resulted in the industry
suffering significant productivity losses," Holder
The white paper proposes the actions that will be
taken by the government to improve the efficiency of
state with the amalgamation of estates and closure
of factories; this will lead to the eventual downsizing
of actual sugar produced.
However, the state paper has proposed the retain-
ment of "as many workers" as needed for all opera-
tions on the merged estates and factories.
Holder said that in addition, employees are to be
leased land by GUYSUCO to engage in agricultural
The government has noted that GUYSUCO's current
business model is not a "formula for improving the
income and wealth of sugar workers while seeking
to provide the good life for current and future gen-
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