The Guyana Sugar Corporation on Friday confirmed that it had fallen below its first crop target of 86,201 tonnes but it noted that the production was eight percent over the 2014 first crop figure of 75,000 tonnes.
The GuySuCo statement came on the same day that Stabroek News reported that the corporation had fallen below its modest first crop target.
GuySuCo said its first crop ended at 81,194 tonnes, approximately 5,000 tonnes below the target. Stabroek News had reported the figure to be approximately 83,000 tonnes.
GuySuCo said it was pleased to report that having taken into account the opportunity allowed by the current weather conditions, at close of first crop, the Corporation achieved 81,194 tons, some 5007 tons under target. It said this was roughly an eight percent improvement over its 2014 production of 75,000 tons.
“The improved production is a reflection of both increased productivity and quality, from improved cane yields across the industry delivering 3.1 tons of cane per hectare over budget and a one percent higher increase over budget of sugar in the cane”, the corporation said.
It added “The Corporation is able to report that all estates, excepting East Demerara and Skeldon surpassed their targets.
“Skeldon Estate began grinding four weeks later than scheduled as a result of the late arrival of critical materials required for the completion of the modification works on its pump dumper which commenced during the last out of crop period.
“Production at Skeldon was further restricted by the May-June rains prematurely halting production, resulting in some 95,000 tons of first crop canes remaining to be harvested in the second crop.
“The Corporation wishes to point out that, had the weather permitted the harvesting of the 95,000 tons of first crop canes, Skeldon Sugar Estates would have produced 15,053 tons of sugar”. It did not give a figure for Skeldon’s production.
It said that Enmore Sugar Estate also began grinding two weeks later than scheduled due to the late arrival of materials for factory maintenance work which started in the out of crop period and was forced by rain to prematurely halt production.
“Had both Skeldon and the East Demerara Estates been able to complete production of all of its first crop cane remaining to be harvested, the total, first crop would have exceeded 91, 000 tons, that is, in excess of the targeted production of 86,201 tons”, the corporation added.
GuySuCo said that the remaining un-harvested cane from the first crop will be reaped in the second crop, which will result in the industry achieving its targeted 2015 production of 241,503 tons of sugar.
General Secretary of the Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union Seepaul Narine had told Stabroek News last week that the first crop was scheduled to end during the week of May 5th but the corporation would keep going once the weather permitted in a drive to make the first crop target.
In the two weeks of the extension, this newspaper was made to understand that there was very little movement in production levels.
Narine said that while the Skeldon Estate fell significantly behind its crop target, the other seven estates did fairly well and were consistently making their production targets.
He called the 2015 first crop a “welcome sign” even though Skeldon failed to meet its target.
This newspaper was informed that the Skeldon Estate which closed off this week has produced approximately 8,000 tonnes of sugar.