By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The governing People’s Progressive Party says it will not accept criticisms to the effect that the administration is “running Guyana’s sugar industry into the ground.”
General Secretary (GS) of the Party, Clement Rohee rejected this assertion at a press conference on Monday, March 10, even though the industry has the lowest production in 22 years.
“I will never accept that criticism of running it into the ground; that is an over – exaggeration. We recognize where the problems are, what the problems are. We are working to address those problems and I’m optimistic that given time, the industry will rebound,” the GS said.
Rohee sought to laud the work of the PPP in building the industry and told reporters government anticipated that sugar would be going through difficult.
“We began preparing ourselves for that by looking for more market access in Caribbean countries. What we are facing now in the sugar industry is a manifestation of what was long anticipated would come. I would describe what we’re experiencing now is mainly teething problems associated with the transformation of the sugar industry as a result of the negative impact of the withering away of preferential market access to Europe,” Rohee explained.
According to him, “If there is any government in this country that knows how to run a sugar industry is a government in which the People’s Progressive Party is major player and that’s a historical fact.”
Sugar production for 2013 fell to 186,807 tonnes, the lowest recorded in 22 years. This is beneath GuySuCo’s minimum production rate of 232,000 tonnes of sugar for its international and local quotas.