I thought that it might be useful to follow up on Tony Vieira’s suggestion that GuySuCo should develop an Other Crops Division. What Mr Vieira was in fact doing was resuscitating an operation that was previously coordinated by GuySuCo, after an earlier initiative by the Burnham administration in the form of the Guyana Agricultural Products Corporation (GAPC) (along with the Guyana Agricultural and Industrial Bank).
The GAPC was formally integrated into GuySuCo as the Other Crops Division. Its objective was to pioneer the diversification of the sugar industry. At the time its management, headed by a Chief Executive Officer, directed a number of projects, including the following:
– Wauna Oil Palm Project – in the North West District
– San Juan Oil Palm Project – on the West Bank of the Demerara River
– Charity Cassava Mill – Essequibo Coast
– Kaituma Cassava Mill – North West District
– Enmore Cassava Experiment Project – East Coast Demerara
– Blairmont State Farm and Fish Farm – West Berbice
– Manaribisi State Farm – Corentyne, East Berbice
This is not to say that all their projects were success stories, but they indicated a degree of creativity and, to an extent, the wisdom of recognising the non-viability of total dependence on sugar, as early as the 1970s.