The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has re-hired a total of 690 persons to work on three closed estates as it pushes ahead with its reopening scheduled for late 20203 to early 2023.
So far at the Rose Hall Estate, some 270 persons have been hired to do preliminary work while over at Skeldon, 226 persons were hired and 194 at Enmore.
But while this number is encouraging, it is a small percentage of the more than 5,000 workers who will need to be hired before the estates are returned to full operations.
In his first press engagement since taking over the lead role at GuySuCo nine weeks ago, acting Chief Executive Officer Sasnarine Singh said the Corporation has been stalled in its rehiring process across the three estates – Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon – because of a lack of equipment.
“We can’t employ large numbers because we don’t have the equipment… the persons hired already are currently doing preliminary work,” Singh told members of the media during a lunchtime press engagement on Monday at GuySuCo’s LBI, East Coast Demerara facilities.
GuySuCo has already spent $126 million from a $3 billion subvention it received from the government to procure the necessary material and equipment needed across the three estates to commence the process of reopening.
Singh explained that these purchases were done through an accelerated procurement process to ensure that the estates have the required tools in the shortest possible time.
In addition to the $126 million, GuySuCo is looking to spend an additional $1.2 billion to purchase some 44 tractors.
Singh said the Corporation had initially approached the private sector with an interest to rent but with a less than satisfactory response it had to go the route of procuring its “sugar specific tractors.”
He said the same brand of tractors was previously used by GuySuCo under the brand name Cameco which have now morphed into the Game Equipment brand.
These tractors were last used by GuySuCo back in the mid-1990s, according to the Corporation’s management.
Singh explained that the tractors were necessary to commence the tilling process of sugar cane.
“Tilling is everything, if we cannot get it right with tilling then we cannot produce,” he added.