‘Foolishness’ – Badal blasts PPP for promising to re-open sugar estates
It is impractical to open the four sugar estates which were closed by the Government in 2016 to 2018, according to Presidential Candidate of Change Guyana Robert Badal.
“You can’t reopen sugar estates, don’t bother with that foolishness they talking,” the businessman said as he referred to the promise made by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Speaking at his party’s weekly press conference Tuesday, Badal said: “without any apology, they are trying to lie to the people, lie to the people again. You cannot close a sugar estate and after a year, open that sugar estate, it is impossible.”
Badal said he visited the Enmore Sugar Estate, which was closed in 2018, and he noticed that punts, tractors and harvesters valued millions of dollars were left to disintegrate.
“Because it is not their money, they don’t care,” he said.
The businessman explained that “when time has elapsed and you neglect the cultivation…it is not possible to bring it back.”
He said the canes will have to be replanted and given a year to mature while investments will have to be made to clean out drainage canals and purchase new punts which were left in the trenches to rot.
Badal added that significant money will also have to be spent on servicing the factories.
“From my business experience, that is impractical…Why re-open an estate and the current estate can’t pay their bills?”
Speaking about his plans for the sugar industry, Badal said Change Guyana will give lands to former sugar workers and persons residing in communities surrounding the closed estates if elected to office.
This will provide employment and added revenue, according to the Presidential Candidate.
Additionally, he said a Change Guyana Government will return the existing estates to profitability.
Between 2016 and 2018, the Government closed Wales, Enmore, Rose Hall and Skeldon Estates and the PPP has promised to reopen them if elected to office in 2020.