[www.inewsguyana.com] – Despite the many hurdles facing the sugar industry, Agriculture Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy is adamant that the industry is still viable.
Dr. Ramsammy is also optimistic that for this year, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) will meet its target of 216,000 tonnes. He told the Government Information Agency that all seven factories are functioning and as of Monday, March 10, production level stood at 18,000 tonnes.
“Some of the factories with which we have had issues, are functioning relatively well at this time. Enmore which was one of the earlier estates that started production is about 4,600 tonnes and Skeldon which was one of the last of the seven factories to begin working is at around 1,600 tonnes,” Dr. Ramsammy said.
He explained that most of the estates are meeting their target as a result of the good weather pattern. The Agriculture Minister reiterated Government’s support to the sugar industry. He said the decision by Government to support the industry is justifiable given the fact that the industry has for decades lent support to other sectors when they were failing.
“We are not investing more that we are reaping, the industry has served Guyana well for centuries, and like every other industry it has its difficulties and it requires support from the government so we will give support,” he said.
“Those who claim that we are subsiding the industry too much, they are wrong, sugar has contributed to the welfare of the nation, large numbers of people are benefiting and some of the needs of society are being addressed as a result of the operation of the sugar industry.”
The Minister pointed out that in many communities, drainage and irrigation capacity has been boosted because of GuySuCo’s pump. The sugar industry employs approximately 20,000 persons .