The Guyana Sugar Corporation has surpassed its 2013 first crop target with over 58,000 tonnes of sugar produced so far and has another 17,000 tonnes to reach the target for the 2014 first crop.
Last year GuySuCo had its worst first crop with just over 48,000 tonnes produced, which ultimately resulted in a 22-year low sugar production figure last year. The state owned corporation produced just 186,000 tonnes of sugar.
Minister of Agriculture Dr Leslie Ramsammy told Stabroek News last week that he was positive that GuySuCo’s production would continue on the upswing. He said the Skeldon factory had surpassed 9,000 tonnes of sugar as of Wednesday last. Skeldon’s first crop target was set at just over 13,000 tonnes for 2014.
Sugar production targets were adjusted prior to the first crop commencing, but the breakdown of the reduced target for each of the eight estates has not been made public. The strategic plan had Skeldon responsible for 20 per cent of the annual sugar production.
Ramsammy had revealed that the adjusted 2014 target was 216,000 tonnes, while the proposal in the corporation’s 2013-2017 strategic plan had it set at 278,752 tonnes.
During the consideration of the 2014 budget estimates and prior to the passing of the $6 billion subvention for GuySuCo, the opposition requested a review of the strategic plan. Ramsammy then revealed that the corporation was currently working on a revised plan that would be ready by June. He had stated that the revised plan would be announced along with the new Board of Directors in July.
Ramsammy also stated that the ministry would provide quarterly reports on GuySuCo’s production as part of the opposition’s desire to allow for transparency.
Traditionally, GuySuCo has aimed to complete the first crop in May and Ramsammy said he hoped the weather would allow for harvesting until the end of May. That would give GuySuCo over six weeks to reach and potentially surpass the first crop target of 75,000 tonnes.
Stabroek News understands that the rainy weather has already begun to drag down production. Last week, Wales, Uitvlugt, Enmore, Blairmont and Skeldon estates were down due to the wet conditions.
This publication was told that while there had been some issues with small groups of workers striking, the wet weather was proving to be the most debilitating challenge.
When Stabroek News did a mid-first crop analysis two weeks ago GuySuCo’s sugar production was at 44,000 tonnes with the good weather allowing for weekly averages of over 6,000 tonnes of sugar produced.