Appointment of Dr. Harold Davis Jr. as New CEO GuySuCo
Press Release – Ministry of Agriculture, Saturday, August 8, 2018
Dr. Harold Davis Jr. has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Guyana Sugar Corporation Incorporated (GuySuCo). with effect from August 13, 2018.
He holds a BSc. in Chemistry from the University of West Indies and a PhD in Soil Chemistry from the University of Reading (UK). Dr. Davis has previously worked for Bookers Agriculture International in the United Kingdom; he returned to Guyana 1981 and worked in various capacities in GuySuCo before leaving in 2010 as the Agriculture Research Director.
Since then Dr. Davis has undertaken consultancy assignments in several countries. In 2016, he consented to undertake an assignment of Agriculture Consultant to GuySuCo and subsequently accepted the position as Agriculture Director. He brings a wealth of experience in Agriculture and Project Management to lead the implementation of the programme to modernise GuySuCo.
Dr. Davis takes over the reins from Paul Bhim who was one of the members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), established in 2015 to focus on redefining and to some extent redesigning a more sustainable pathway for GuySuCo; with a particular focus on a direction for a more financially sound business. Hence, the particular skills required for the IMC members was, sound financial background, a good knowledge of the sugar industry and market-oriented competence.
One of the significant achievements of the IMC was to contribute towards the ‘State Paper on the Future of the Sugar Industry’ which essentially sets the stage for the next phase of the transition programme for GuySuCo with three estates – Albion, Blairmont and Uitvlugt and a target of 147,000 tonnes of sugar by 2020/2021. Bhim, who is finance-bias, has been acting Chief Executive Officer from January 2018 and has done remarkably at steering the Corporation through a difficult period in the absence of a Board of Directors and yet ensuring that the transition process was smooth. The Corporation is now ready to implement its new strategic plan which is heavily production-based.
The tasks at hand for Dr. Davis, is to modernise the three remaining estates which are the production centres. This will entail transforming infrastructure, agricultural and other practices and retooling factories.
In an effort to create and deliver more value, co-generation facilities will be constructed, the factory at the Albion Estate will be upgraded to produce plantation white sugar, consideration will be given to the expansion of production at Blairmont estate to accommodate increase production of direct consumption sugars, among others.
Feasibility studies on co-generation have been completed for two factories and a further study will be conducted on the third estate. The first co-generation project would commence on Albion Estate within the planned period.
One of the key focus areas for Dr. Davis will be to increase the competitiveness of GuySuCo with the production of high-value sugars – plantation white and direct consumption. A precursor to this will be increased sugarcane yields to beyond 70 tonnes cane per hectare. A land development programme has already re-commenced under Dr. Davis’s watch as Agriculture Director and this is being conducted in a highly technically sound manner.
Improving the capacity of the workforce through training and development is a high priority item on his agenda. In addition, to attracting high-quality skills to support the modernisation of the Corporation.
In terms of the process for achieving his goals and objectives, the focus will be on the establishment of a sound, highly skilled management team with a range of relevant expertise. The production centres – estates, are the core of the business and strong teams will be built around providing the requisite support to achieve and surpass the 147,000 tonnes production target by 2021.
This approach is guided by GuySuCo’s new ‘Sustainable Business Model’ which focuses on achieving a Triple Bottom Line (TBL) – economic/financial, environmental and social and ensures more accountability in all three areas and adding more structure around becoming a more environmentally sensitive business as well as cost reduction.