Rose Hall Sugar Estate to be operational soon, 1100 workers already employed – Min. Mustapha

The Rose Hall Sugar Estate will soon be operational as part of efforts to revitalise the sugar industry and ensure its sustainability.  

During a recent episode of the ‘Guyana Dialogue’, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha noted that this move aligns with the government’s commitment to restart the sugar industry, which makes a significant economic contribution and offers employment opportunities to the residents of the community.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha

From 2015 to 2020, 5,262 sugar workers from across the country lost their jobs and in 2017, some 912 workers were dismissed due to the closure of the estate.

For this year, Minister Mustapha said the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has already seen a 14 per cent increase in production.

Sugar workers on the estate

“By the end of September, Rose Hall will become operational and Rose Hall estate will start to crush cane once again. We have already employed approximately 1,100 workers who were severed at Rose Hall. We have already completed two sets of steam trials which were extremely successful. We have replanted cane and we have cane to last us for the entire second crop of 2023,” the minister relayed.

A bell loader loading cane into a punt

He emphasised that the Rose Hall Estate will make a positive contribution in terms of realising a total of approximately 60,000 tonnes of sugar that GuySuCo has set as the target for the year.

“We will be replanting another 536 hectares of new canes for Rose Hall cultivation. When they [former APNU+AFC administration] closed the estate and abandoned the land, today, the lands are under forest. We have to do a lot of work to clear it. We have to do re-tilling, replanting, and rehabilitate the entire mechanical tillage system.

“I am hoping to organise the recommissioning very shortly where the president [Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali] will go up to have that recommissioning at Rose Hall estate. We have done a lot of work there,” Minister Mustapha informed.

Sugar worker on an estate

The economy of Rose Hall severely declined due to the closure of the sugar estate.

Minister Mustapha explained that, “Today, we are seeing the economic upturn back again in those areas. We are seeing a life coming back into those areas. We are seeing economic activities reemerging and people, now, are more upbeat since their energy levels are very high.”

Government has allocated $1.195 billion to help with the estate’s reopening for the second crop in 2023.

The Rose Hall plant will undergo extensive upgrades, with $539 million set aside for that purpose.

Some $50 million more was invested to build the infrastructure around the factory, including roads and buildings.

Recently, GuySuCo received $1.5 billion to facilitate the rehabilitation of 1,572 hectares of temporary abandoned lands at the Albion, Blairmont, Rose Hall and Uitvlugt estates.