Massive 28 per cent increase in sugar production in 2023 – Min. Mustapha

With an investment of $8.1 billion in 2023 to advance the revitalisation efforts of the sugar industry, Guyana saw a massive 28 per cent or 13,155 metric tonnes increase in sugar production, as compared to 47,049 metric tonnes in 2022.

This was highlighted by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during the ministry’s year-end review, on Saturday.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

In keeping with the 2020 promise, one of the major achievements for sugar is the reopening of the Rose Hall Sugar Estate in September 2023.  

The agriculture minister underscored, “Sugar production in 2023, we closed at 60, 204 metric tonnes, a 28 per cent or 13,155 metric tonnes increase in production when compared to 47,049 metric tonnes in 2022. The industry was able to replant 52 per cent more lands in 2023, which is a total of 4,020 hectares as compared to 2,640 hectares in 2022.”

Packaged sugar

The government will continue to focus heavily on mechanisation and conversion projects across the industry.

While explaining that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is witnessing a decrease in funding due to its robust policies, he added, “We will be seeing less and less dependency from the government in terms of GuySuCo revitalising and bringing back GuySuCo at that point that we want it to achieve. We have seen a 22 per cent decrease of funding that we have requested from the government in 2023 as compared to 2022.”

Sugar cane in a punt

Guyana has also witnessed a further 54 per cent of sugar production which was marketed as packaged sugar in 2023, as compared to 48 per cent in 2022.

Government has also commenced the construction of the Albion and Blairmont Packaging Plants to increase the production of value-added packaged sugar.

“We have launched two new value-added packaged brands. One is the Albion Gem and the other is the Demerara Gold Sugar Stick Sachet,” said Minister Mustapha.

To date, government has employed 4,692 new employees in the sugar industry.

The total number of workers in GuySuCo at the end of 2023 is 8,294 persons.

Over the next two years, Minister Mustapha said that government will convert over 5,000 hectares of lands to have mechanisation being conducted in terms of harvesting and mechanical loading.

Added to that, he reemphasised, “We are seeing clearly a revitalisation of the sugar industry and we are seeing more and more people are benefitting.”

The government continues to build a strong agricultural sector that will enhance livelihoods as part of its ambitious goal of ensuring food security.