BUDGET 2022: GuySuCo gets $6B more
The government has allocated an additional $6 billion in the 2022 budget to support the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo’s) ongoing investment in field and factory operations to turn around the industry with the reopening of estates pegged for this year.
Since returning to office in August 2020, the government provided operational and restructuring support to GuySuCo in the sum of $11 billion and also injected $600 million to assist with wages and salaries.
This $6 billion in the 2022 budget brings total budgetary support to $17 billion with Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh announcing that the government will continue to consider the possibility of engaging private investor interest also in some of the estates.
These interventions came following the closure of four sugar estates (Wales, Skeldon, Rose Hall, and Enmore) and the retrenchment of over 7,000 sugar workers by the previous APNU+AFC government.
Already the government has reopened the Rose Hall Estate. In addition, over 1,300 persons have been reemployed and over 5,000 workers who were severed in 2016 and 2017 have each received cash grants of $250,000 in 2021.
“Looking ahead at 2022, strategic investments will be made at Albion, Blairmont, and Uitvlugt to upgrade and mechanise where appropriate the field operations, and expand packaging capabilities to produce more value-added products for our domestic and international markets,” Dr. Singh said during his budget presentation.
These investments will be undertaken with the ultimate objective of ensuring that each estate is able to break in the not-too-distant future.
In anticipation of improved production levels, GuySuCo will be concentrating its marketing efforts on shifting from the low-value bulk-sugar markets to more bagged and packaged sugar products.
To this end, these products will increase from 34 percent in 2020 to 64 percent of total production in 2022.
The government had previously said that there will be a significant reduction in dependency on government support by 2026.