Dry weather has helped sugar crop

Dear Editor,

 

This is Guyana and we must never lose sight of the fact that this is a very wet country and that if we get a break from the weather it’s good luck and not the norm and we must be careful what conclusions we draw from it.

In the newspapers of 4th May 2014, I see our Minister of Agriculture, a position which he is totally incapable of occupying with any degree of competence, displaying his deceptions by telling us that GuySuCo has displayed some measure of comeback despite the pessimisms and predictions of the Opposition.

We cannot allow extrapolations of such theories of recovery on data which is not representative of the norm. And we cannot possibly say that GuySuCo has been recovering from the dismal performance it has turned out since 2004.

Across the country there has been a very pronounced drought for most of March and April 2014.

This is unusual for Guyana and any performance of our sugar Industry during this period should be regarded as attributable to luck and nothing else.

For the month of April 2014 the long term average [i.e. the normal rainfall for April over several decades] has been 153.4 mm of rain; this year the month of April only produced 55.9 mm of rainfall less than half of the long term average.

Similarly for the month of March the long term average was 111.6 mm but we only received 61.5 mm.

To tell the KN Sunday May 4th 2014 that “it is very encouraging to see GuySuCo performing at the level of its potential” is not acceptable.

Furthermore in this country the first and second half of the year crops are divided roughly 40% first crop and 60% second crop; this means that if the corporation makes the 74,000 first crop target, and it represents 40% of the total annual production, then the second half of the year [if we also get perfect weather] we will produce around 111,000 tonnes i.e. it will still be a total annual production which will barely meet the 200,000 tonnes mark.

So do not celebrate too early Ramsammy, in a perfect year, weather-wise, we will still be producing less than 200,000 tonnes. What is going to happen when the weather returns to normal? And what has happened with the 400,000 tonnes the PPP promised us by 2014?

Editor, GuySuCo and GPL are public corporations of Guyana owned by the people of this country and it is not accidental that both GPL and GuySuCo are in financial difficulties, these entities which do not follow the law and present their annual reports on time to parliament, but require substantial subventions from the Consolidated Fund due to their incompetence in running these two corporations, are not required to follow the national laws concerning competitive bidding through the central tender board, and they are both buying from whom they want.

When and if we get the long awaited Public Procurement Commission I hope that these two corporations will be subjected to the Laws of Guyana when it comes to oversight in purchasing materials to operate.

 

Yours faithfully,
Tony Vieira

 

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