I feel utter disgust, whenever personal, negative biases are directed against any individual, and when these are used (I should say misused) to evaluate any individual’s readiness and suitability for a position, I take even greater umbrage. This is why I am forced to offer my piece on Donald Ramotar.
First, the blame game regarding the GuySuCo impasse, where Mr Ramotar’s image is being vitiated, is not just uncalled for, it is absolutely wrong. Mr Ramotar is in no way responsible for what has happened (and now what obtains) on a day-to-day basis within GuySuCo. It is time people understand how GuySuCo’s management structure functions, so that an accurate picture of Mr Ramotar’s personage and role are grasped. Let it be known that the board that Mr Ramotar is a member of is a non-executive one. This means that he was not responsible for the (direct) management of GuySuCo as an organization. His responsibility was in the area of the creation and development of policies to propel the industry.
Thus the day-to-day running was not in his jurisdiction. One can think of a school analogy: Does a student go to Mr Baksh and lodge a complaint? And even if the complaint is worth considering (say for excess physical discipline), does one denigrate the Minister of Education?
It was the policies of the board that anticipated the abandonment of the EU preferential prices agreement that was responsible for the commissioning of the Skeldon Factory. This was a correct decision as the factory, when completed, will modernize the industry by lowering the cost of processing and by providing value added products such as electricity to be sold to the grid.
It was these policies that anticipated the shortage of labour, resulting in the design of the fields at Skeldon to allow for machine harvesting.
It was these policies that allowed for the building of the packaging plant and fighting for the branding of Demerara Gold as a ‘Guyana only’ product. This packaging plant will allow for GuySuCo to place Guyana’s sugar on the shelves of stores in the Caribbean, North America, Europe and elsewhere.
The above policies are just three examples of the prudent decisions made by the board. They manifest insight and foresight as well. Furthermore a careful analyst can also look at the adverse economic climate that has affected the price of sugar. This, together with the EU abandonment has caused the industry to lose approximately $10B per year in revenue. Again I ask: Where is the justification for blaming Donald Ramotar?
Finally it should be noted that in the 1990s, GuySuCo produced only 129k tons of per year, and by 2004 it was producing 325k tons per year. This clearly shows the astute quality of the man that Donald Ramotar really is. If it were not for the floods and horribly bad weather in 2005, there would have been no major drop in production.
So for those criticizers and anti-Ramotar trouble-makers, I ask that they be honest and objective. Even if they want to hold on to their views, what do these have to do with Mr Ramotar’s presidential candidacy?