The Government has started the process to reopen sugar estates closed by the former APNU+AFC Government, President Irfaan Ali said Tuesday during a visit to the east Berbice sugar belt.
“I assure you that those estates will be brought back into operations,” the President declared, while simultaneously assuring that former Wales Estate workers will be afforded employment opportunities too.
President Ali said the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Government intends to keep its campaign promise and will ensure that the estates restart operations with the exception of the Wales Estate, which he said has been pulled to pieces.
He said the Government will not be able to reopen the Wales Estate because the assets were sold out. Instead, the PPP administration will put in place a Development Authority to create other opportunities and employment.
“We are now working on the Wales Development Authority to have that estate come under that authority to create opportunity and employment… in relation to the other estates we have already commenced work to see its reopening,” he added.
The President met with residents across several villages in the East Berbice area and reassured those who rely on the production of sugar for jobs will soon find themselves back at work.
The President said the Government is in talks with management at the other sugar estates to assess the state of assets there and the level of reinvestment to be done.
The APNU+AFC Government had closed estates at Wales on the West Bank of Demerara, Rose Hall and Skeldon in Region Six and Enmore, East Coast Demerara.
The Ministry of Agriculture will be leading this project and already indicated its intention to appoint a new Board of Directors to oversee the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha had said too that there will be a reshuffling of the management of the Corporation.