Manufacturing Body calls for urgent action to resuscitate sugar industry

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President of the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) Shyam Nokta

The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) has renewed its call for urgent action to safeguard the sugar industry which it says provides key inputs to the manufacturing sector.

“The Association believes the downscaling of the industry, with the closure of four of seven sugar estates, has had dire consequences to the economy and other sectors which depend on the industry,” the GMSA said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The GMSA is calling for a democratically elected Government to give priority to the resuscitation of the sugar industry through an approach which involves public-private partnership,” the GMSA said.

The Association said it notes with concern that at least one major manufacturing entity has had to import molasses from overseas to meet its demand for the last 2 years.

In 2018, the Association had cause to write Government to guarantee supply of molasses to small-scale manufacturers.

The GMSA said while GUYSUCO had been able to maintain this supply of approximately 32MT per month for small manufacturers, this has not been the case for at least one major manufacturer.

According to the Association, Demerara Distilleries Limited has had to resort to importation of molasses to meet its demand and this importation has increased due to the inability of the sugar industry to supply. This situation, and the continued decline of the sugar industry, is a major concern of the GMSA.

Key manufacturing entities depend on molasses and these include the rum industry, food processors and pharmaceuticals.

“The GMSA believes that if Guyana’s manufacturing sector is to grow in the future, urgent attention is needed to ensure the supply of raw materials – in this case, molasses. The importation of molasses, while a short-term measure to meet demand, clearly is not sustainable and could affect Guyana’s competitiveness in the long run”.