After punts left to rot, more money approved for re-opening of Rose Hall estate
The Parliamentary Committee of Supply on Tuesday approved funds allocated for much-needed expenditure at the Rose Hall sugar estate in Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne).
This estate is slated for re-opening later this year.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, appearing before the Committee, was questioned on a $2 billion capital sum labelled as a contribution to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
Of that sum, he said $1.195 billion will be used to support the re-opening of the estate. Spending will cater for the purchase of new equipment and rehabilitating older equipment.
“When they closed the estates, they left the punts to rot. Now we have to build back,” Mustapha pointed out.
And he also emphasised that the estate is on track for a re-opening when the second crop of the year is ready for harvesting.
“It was public knowledge that 75 per cent of the work at Rose Hall has been completed. Three thousand hectares of cane are ready for the second crop of 2023 and it will give us approximately eight to 10 weeks of grinding,” Mustapha said.
Outside of spending at Rose Hall, monies were approved for capital spending at the Albion and Uitvlugt estates. Another $300 million was approved for the start of the construction of the packaging plant at Blairmont.
Questioned why the government continues to invest heavily in GuySuCo, even as the sugar industry has not performed optimally, Mustapha emphasised that sugar will be profitable again.
“GuySuCo will become profitable again, you have to work,” Mustapha stressed.
He also reminded lawmakers that the sugar industry is important because it provides employment to thousands of people and contributes meaningfully to the village economy.