GuySuCo first crop 29% below target

-signals further reorganisation

The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) yesterday said that it experienced a shortfall of 29.3% in this year’s first crop with actual production of 56, 825 tonnes compared with a budget of 80,270 tonnes.

The audit of the production, which takes place at the end of each crop, is underway, but it is not expected that the final figure would vary significantly, a release from the beleaguered corporation said.

The shortfall in the first crop was due substantially to the El Nino weather conditions which severely dried out the canes, drastically constrained cane growth and led to lower sugar content, the release said.

“It is also important to note that the crop coming into the drought was in an unhealthy state which was exacerbated by the El Nino conditions. Obviously, this has been a great disappointment to all, especially after the promise of the 2015 Second Crop.

“The shortfall is bound to have significant financial implications for an already cash-strapped industry.

It would therefore necessitate management considering further strategies for re-organisation of the industry with a view of making the Corporation a viable business entity”, the release added.

It is as a consequence of this process that categories of workers at Wales Estate have been offered alternative employment opportunities at Uitvlugt Estate, but some have persisted in opting for early retirement, or severance pay.

Despite the challenges, the release said that management is sparing no effort in “carving out creative and innovative pathways to lift the Corporation out of its current financial state and is strategizing to retain current skills and competencies into proposed diversified projects”.

The government has come under pressure to present plans for Wales estate workers after GuySuCo announced in January that the estate would be closed by the end of this year. Rationalisation at the LBI estate was also announced recently, raising further concerns about job losses.

GuySuCo has a huge debt ad faces a series of problems in addition to low production.

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