Feasibility studies at Wales Estate to conclude by August
As measures are being put in place for the diversification of the Wales sugar Estate, the Ministry of Agriculture disclosed that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is currently undertaking several feasibility studies g at the site which will be concluded by August, 2016.
During a meeting with representatives of the Region Three Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder stated that one of the companies carrying out the feasibility studies is AquaSol, Inc.
AquaSol, Inc. is a United States based aquaculture consulting company, which promises expert opinions, technology transfer, and aquaculture project management services to new and existing aquaculture projects worldwide.
Holder explained that the studies will be able to help government decide on the best mix of activities to ensure the economic viability of the Wales Estate, in particular and GuySuCo in general.
“These studies are being conducted in the areas of cattle rearing for dairy purposes, orchard crop cultivation, aquaculture,etc. and are expected to be completed by the middle of August of this year” he said.
The government announced in January, that it will move to close the factory at Wales and merge the Wales and Uitvlugt estates at the end of 2016. It stated that this is necessary to ensure the viability of the industry.
However, several concerns were raised in relation to the negative impacts of such move, including the need to transport canes from Wales to Uitvlugt.
The Region Three Chamber of Commerce raised concerns about the increased transportation cost farmers would have to endure to transport their cane to the Uitvlugt Estate. Minister Holder, however, pointed out that 60% of the farmers’ cane is closer to Uitvlugt than Wales; adding that measures are being put in place to facilitate the transportation of canes via an all weather road linking the two estates. The farmers were also advised of the option of accepting lands which are closer to the Uitvlugt Estates he said.
The meeting was requested by the Chamber of Commerce after it held discussions with the La Retraite Cane Farmers Association about their concerns on the continuation of sugar cane farming at Wales and alternative agricultural activities after the closure of the Wales Factory. The group also expressed interest in developing a better understanding of the alternative agricultural activities which are being explored by GuySuCo.
The six member delegation was led by Mr. Ramesh Sugrim, President of the Region Three Chamber of Commerce.