$4B for continued development of GuySuCo

The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has been allocated some $4 billion in 2023, to start construction of the Albion packaging plant and expand the capacity of the Blairmont packaging plant, among other significant undertakings.

Since returning to office, the administration invested over $10 billion in plants and equipment, rehabilitated cane fields at all factory locations, and fostered private-sector partnerships to expand land under cultivation.

Some $4 billion for continued development of GuySuCo

Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh said the government will continue to advance efforts to revitalise and restructure the nation’s sugar industry to support a diversified and modernised sector.

Presenting Budget 2023 to the National Assembly on Monday, Minister Singh reminded that the industry was a major source of employment for thousands of workers.

But unfortunately, over 7,000 sugar workers were laid off and their families were left without a means of livelihood when the previous APNU+AFC Government decided to shut down factories during its tenure.

“The sugar industry has been in a state of neglect and disrepair for far too long. Fields and factories were left abandoned, with billions of dollars in machinery and equipment left to deteriorate,” he said.

Already, the government has rehired some 1,479 of the unjustly dismissed workers, and even provided cash grants to all dismissed workers to support them during this difficult time.

Due to astute leadership, works have advanced for the recapitalisation of the Albion, Uitvlugt, and Blairmont sugar factories.

The government has also remodeled the marketing and sales mix to move away from bulk sugar to higher value-added sugar products.

“We have also targeted the acquisition of a drying machine to improve the quality of our package sugar, and the acquisition and deployment of a stick packaging machine to offer a smaller sachet of sugar to meet the needs of premium markets,” the senior minister disclosed.

Importantly, the administration has anticipated that grinding operations at Rose Hall will commence in the second crop of 2023, and “smoke will once again rise from the chimney of the estate,” Minister Singh said.

The preparation process for cultivating sugar cane at the Rose Hall Estate has already been advanced with five new tilling machines valued at some $100 million.

Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha handed over the high-end John Deere equipment, during the commissioning ceremony in front of the factory, in June last year.

The PPP/C Administration has made it clear that it will take concrete steps to reenergise the local economy and provide support to the workers and families who have been affected by the neglect of the past.

Budget 2023 is themed, “Improving lives today, building prosperity for tomorrow.