The East Demerara Sugar Estate (Enmore) is way behind its production target for the first crop of 2017, and this could possibly result in a shortage of sugar on the local market.
This information was relayed by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Komal Chand, sometime last week.
“There will be a shortage of sugar on the local market, because (at Enmore) they needed to produce 1200 tonnes of sugar from the time they closed the crop some days ago,” Chand disclosed.
GAWU was, last week, asked to intervene to resolve a dispute between the workers and the management of GuySuCo, after management had closed the crop and wanted to restart it in the last week of May.
The workers had already made up their minds that the crop was closed, and therefore demanded that GuySuCo give them their out-of-crop benefit — holiday with a week’s pay. Although workers agreed to return to work, adverse weather conditions and the poor state of the dams along the cane fields served as major impediments to the estate’s target being met.
“They will not be able to make the target to ensure that the local market is adequately supplied with sugar. They are far from realising it…there is a massive deficit at Enmore Estate,” Chand again emphasised.
Chand said the only estate that remains in operation at this time is Enmore, and its production as at April 22, 2017 stood at around 8000 tonnes of sugar. Thus, he said, the overall production across the sugar industry would be severely curtailed.
Accordingly, GuySuCo’s first crop set target of approximately 74,000 tonnes of sugar may not be realised.
“(GuySuCo’s first crop production) most likely would not surpass 50,000 tonnes. (It was) at 49,000 tonnes with only Enmore operating. Production will be significantly curtailed by over 24,000 tonnes. (GuySuCo) might just make 67 percent of the sugar production (target),” Chand explained.
It was revealed in early May that Uitvlugt Estate, located on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD), had missed its first crop production target by just over 1300 tonnes. This estate has reportedly produced 7031 tonnes of the projected 8339 tonnes of sugar, representing a shortfall of 1308 tonnes of the projected target.
A number of factors were reportedly responsible for the estate’s shortfall in production, two of which were: rat damage to crops, and cane shortage to facilitate production. This publication learnt that much of the canes from several locations on the West Bank of Demerara (WBD) could not, in fact, go to Uitvlugt for processing.
Finance Minister Winston Jordan, in his 2017 Budget presentation, had indicated that the status quo in the sugar industry could neither be sustained nor maintained. He explained that, as currently structured, the industry would require Government’s support to the tune of $18.6 billion for 2017 and $21.4 billion for 2018.
He elaborated that, based on the CoI, it was concluded that any money injected into the sugar industry in its current state was money wasted.