GMSA concerned about lack of molasses for rum industry

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The Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) has expressed concern over the lack of adequate molasses on the local market to supply the rum industry.

Two days after it was publicized that the Demerara Distilleries Limited (DDL) had to resort to import molasses to meet its demand and will likely increase the price of its rum products, the GMSA issued a call for the resuscitation of the sugar industry.

“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 Association said in a statement Tuesday.

Molasses is the major ingredient used to manufacture over 20 different varieties of rum by DDL.

The company reported that it has had to import molasses over the past two years following the closure of four state-owned sugar estates.

Before four of the seven sugar estates were shuttered by the end of 2017, DDL bought all of its molasses from the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).

The GMSA said it wrote to the Government in 2018 to guarantee supply of molasses to small-scale manufacturers.

It said while GuySuCo was able to maintain this supply of approximately 32MT per month for small manufacturers, this has not been the case for DDL.

“This situation, and the continued decline of the sugar industry, is a major concern of the GMSA,” the Association said in its statement.

The GMSA added that food processors and pharmaceuticals also depend on the adequate supply of molasses.

“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,” it noted.

The Association believes the downscaling of the sugar industry has had dire consequences to the economy and other sectors which depend on the industry.

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