‘It cannot be business as usual’ – Ali tells GuySuCo

President Dr Irfaan Ali during his meeting with officials from GuySuCo


President Dr Irfaan Ali today convened a meeting with the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to discuss its strategic direction.

The Head of State told approximately 180 managers and other senior officials that “it cannot be business as usual”.  President Ali spoke of the need for them to be more effective, efficient, and results-driven in the ever-changing landscape.

The President also listened to suggestions and concerns and deliberated on issues to find solutions.

Director-General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Madanlall Ramraj; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Delma Nedd, and Director of Projects at the Office of the President, Marcia Nadir-Sharma were also at the meeting.

In February, Chief Executive Officer of GuySuCo Sasenarine Singh had committed that the sugar entity would be fixed in four years. He had noted that the typically cash-strapped organisation is working assiduously to reach to a point whereby it will no longer need financial support from Central Government to fund its operations.

It was also reminded that when the four sugar estates were down in 2016 and 2017 under the APNU/AFC Administration, a significant number of machinery and equipment became permanently damaged.

Despite recommendations from a Commission of Inquiry (CoI) commissioned by the then President David Granger, the APNU/AFC Administration closed the Wales, East Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon sugar estates, sending some 17,000 workers on the breadline.

When the PPP/C Administration assumed office in August 2020, efforts were made to reopen these estates. From October 2020 to February 2022, over 1380 persons were hired/rehired to work in the sugar industry.

Singh had also explained that GuySuCo has a five-year strategic plan which will see the reduction of production costs and increased profits – which will eventually make the entity “cash neutral”.

He had also explained that the five-year strategic plan aims to improve the mechanising of all the estates such as the refurbishing of generators across the industry, the building of 250 new punts, the creation of a new packaging plant at Albion which will begin this year, the expansion of the packaging plant at Blairmont, among other initiatives.