New GMC to start distributing bagged, packaged sugar tomorrow

The New Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) will begin distributing over 3000 bagged and packaged sugar to wholesalers tomorrow, July 20.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha told the Department of Public Information (DPI) Tuesday evening, that the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate will provide the GMC with 1,800 bags of sugar and almost 1,500 one-kilogram packaged sugar to start the delivery.  

“We have taken a new decision that the New GMC will, from tomorrow, go around the country to ensure the sugar is circulated to various stakeholders,” the minister underscored.

He said Guyanese can rest assured that there is enough sugar to supply the local population. There are rumours circulating that there is a countrywide shortage of the commodity.

“There is no shortage of sugar in Guyana, the country has enough sugar for local consumption. As a matter of fact, I understand today, from GuySuCo that some people are hoarding the sugar,” the minister contended.

Sugar canes being harvested.

He hopes that the timely intervention will bring a halt to the false talks being peddled.

In fact, he pointed out that the sugar industry is in for a significant boost, explaining that the Blairmont and Uitvlugt sugar factories have started producing, while the Albion Estate will begin shortly.

“So, there is no scarcity of sugar now and there will be no scarcity in the future. But it seems as though some people want to create artificial shortages, that is why the president has instructed me that I put systems in place, so that the sugar can reach to the consumers at an affordable cost,” the minister stated.

Meanwhile, Minister Mustapha pointed out that government’s aggressive push to return GuySuCo to a break-even point has, and will never end, until the mission is accomplished.

“…but as we are doing that, we are seeing that the weather condition is very bad. We have suffered flood last year, one of the worst floods in the history of our country. One of the major sugar estates in the country, Albion; almost 50 per cent of the cane had died there, and that has put a tremendous blow in terms of producing sugar,” the minister explained.  

He noted that the phased approach to re-open the estates which were shuttered by the previous APNU+AFC Government will continue.  One of those is the Rose Hall Sugar Estate, East Canje Berbice, where major works are ongoing.

Only recently a contract was awarded for the revamping of the roof of the building, which is expected to begin in two weeks.

Additionally, the preparation process for cultivation at Rose Hall was advanced with five new tilling machines valued at some $100 million.

“We are now procuring more tractors. I have a technical team meeting with GuySuCo on a weekly basis, so that we can put systems in place, and I am very optimistic in the near future we will produce more sugar and GuySuCo can come closer to the point of break even,” Minister Mustapha added.