[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder has explained that $52M from the sector’s budget will go towards supporting the work of the Guyana Sugar (GuySuCo) Commission of Inquiry.
The eleven-member Commission, during its investigation will develop a 15-year plan which is expected to bring the industry back to profitability to ensure long-term environmental and economic sustainability.
Among the work which will be carried out by the Commission is investigating the current state of cane cultivation, factory operations, and production and marketing of sugar, molasses and other by-products. Special emphasis will also be placed on human resources, research and development, diversification of the industry, community obligations, weather events, marketing, finance, procurement, factory performance and management.
The Commission is expected to work closely with the Interim Management Team of GuySuCo over a three- month period, after which the findings will be made public.
The National Assembly on Monday evening approved the $20.894B allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture in the 2015 National Budget. The allocation to the sector contains $18.626B to support the ministry’s administrative work, $1.645B for crop and livestock support services, $129.376M for managing, regulating and promoting the sustainable development of the nation’s fishery resources and $493.547M for hydro-meteorological services.
Minister Holder also committed to providing at a subsequent time, to the House, a breakdown of the percentage of the work awarded, the percentage tendered, and the percentage remaining to be tendered, as it relates to an allocation, under the ministry’s capital expenditure budget of $2.051B.
The sum provides for the completion, construction and rehabilitation of drainage and irrigation canals at Profit, Buxton, La Grange, Bagotville, Salem, Kofi, Leguan, Grove and Greenfield. It also caters for the completion and construction of pump stations in areas such as Number 43 Village, Lima, Eversham and Gangaram and the construction and completion of structures at Golden Fleece, Three Friends, Hyde Park, Bengal, Buxton and Affiance.
Also under ministry’s capital expenditure, is an allocation of $310.732M for the completion of an alternative outlet for drainage and regulation of the East Demerara Water Conservancy (EDWC).
Another $231.556M makes provision for the rehabilitation of conservancy intake at Ann’s Grove, Hope, Annandale and Nancy and, relief structures at Maduni and Sarah Johanna, while $75M is provided for the rehabilitation of the EDWC embankment including structures, construction of pump stations at Hope, Buxton and Lusignan.
Meanwhile, other major projects covered under the agriculture budget include, under crops and livestock support services; $75M for the rehabilitation of the Abary Conservancy, control structures and secondary and primary drainage and irrigation system accesses and structures.
Another $16.883M is provided for the mangrove restoration programmes including the completion of groynes at Devonshire Castle and hydrological restoration at Wellington Park.
$1.242B is allocated for the upgrade of access dams and roads improvement in Parika, Ruby, Laluni and Onverwagt. Other major projects covered under crops and livestock include; agencies such as the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA,) Guyana Livestock and Development Board (GLDB,) and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI.)