Sacked Enmore Estate sugar workers engage Agri. Minister

– farmers to benefit from planting material, feed

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha today met with residents and farmers from the village of Enterprise and its environs on the East Coast of Demerara to discuss issues faced in their communities. During the meeting, persons who were employed at the Enmore Estate, but lost their jobs following the closure of the estate by the previous government engaged the Minister about being rehired.

The Enmore Estate is one of the estates earmarked for reopening. Minister Mustapha told those in attendance that most of the estates will be reopened but this, he said, will be done in a phased approach.

“As long as commitments were made we will fulfill those commitments. We cannot do everything at once. But rest assured, we will work to deliver assistance to those displaced sugar workers. The Enmore Estate will be reopened but we cannot open all of the estates at the same time. We also cannot employ everyone at once.

Minister Mustapha while listening to a farmer during the meeting

As we get production going, we will be able to rehire more persons. The previous administration closed four estates within a year. We are trying to reopen them but this has to be done in a phased approach. Over the past year, we’ve been putting money into the closed estates to have them reopened, and at the same time, we’ve been putting money into the operating estates to recapitalize and rehabilitate them,” Minister Mustapha said.

The Minister also informed those present that a lot of work has to be done ahead of the reopening of the estates.

“GuySuCo is beyond sugar. As a Government, we recognise the importance of sugar and GuySuCo. Over the last year, we’ve already transferred $10 billion to GuySuCo. We are now working aggressively to reopen Rose Hall and then the others will follow. For the estates that are currently operational, we have to do a lot of work to make them efficient,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha also said assistance will be given to the farmer’s group from the area, after representatives who were present at the meeting made representation on behalf of the group for assistance. Minister Mustapha committed to assisting the group with tools, seeds, planting materials, and fertilisers to assist with their production.

A farmer raising an issue during the meeting

Cattle farmers who were also present at the meeting told Minister Mustapha that they were in need of assistance. One farmer said many cattle farmers in the area need assistance with molasses and feed for their animals. The farmer explained that the current cost for molasses was too high and sought the assistance of the Minister with providing some for farmers in the community.

While responding to the farmer, Minister Mustapha said the Ministry, through the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA), will be providing farmers with molasses and feed by the end of the week. Residents also raised issues related to the National Insurance Scheme and improved infrastructure. Minister Mustapha told residents that he will engage his fellow Cabinet Ministers so that they can meet with residents to have those issues resolved.

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