GuySuCo gets $3.4B more; Agri. Minister says full reopening of Rose Hall Estate soon
The government’s request for an additional $3.4 billion for the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was approved by the National Assembly on Monday with Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha explaining that the monies will go towards the continuation of the recapitalisation of the company.
The monies approved on Monday are in addition to a $6 billion allocated to the Corporation in the 2022 budget.
Prior, 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 latest $3.4 billion in supplementary funding brings the total budgetary support to $20.4 billion.
“What we have done over the last two years is to replace a number of critical missing parts and continue the recapitalisation we started in 2020,” Mustapha said.
He noted that the government will use these funds to make the factories modern and efficient while increasing production.
To this end, he also recommitted to the full reopening of the Rose Hall Estate soon.
“The Rose Hall estate will be reopened,” the Minister said in response to a question from President of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) Seepaul Narine.
“As it stands here today, we have rehired 692 out of over 1, 000 persons and a number of key works have already been carried out,” Mustapha said.
He explained that lands have been tilled, roads rehabilitated, bridges repaired and drainage canals cleaned, all towards the reopening efforts.
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.
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.
The government had previously said that there will be a significant reduction in dependency on government support by 2026.