Upper Corentyne stakeholders want talks on Skeldon Estate’s future

Chamber President says atmosphere worrying

A condition of growing uncertainty over the future of the Skeldon Sugar Estate has created an uneasy atmosphere of uncertainty at various levels in communities in the Upper Corentyne and particularly among sugar workers’ families, according to President of the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce Krishnand Jaichand.

He is therefore calling on Agriculture Minister Noel Holder and the management of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) to engage the community as a matter of urgency, lest the situation grows even worse.

Speaking with Stabroek Business late on Wednesday evening, Jaichand said what had already been a worrying situation arising out of likely job losses should the closure of the Skeldon Sugar Estate become a reality has been made worse by the failure of “the powers that be” to communicate with the various interest groups, including the workers, cane farmers and businessmen and women in the community, all of whom have a vested in the future of the Skeldon estate. “It is no secret that much of the Upper Corentyne revolves around sugar and specifically around the Skeldon Estate. It is worrisome that we are being told nothing,” he said.

Central Corentyne Chamber President Krishnand Jaichand

On Wednesday, the Upper Corentyne Chamber released a media statement in which it charged that both GuySuCo and the Government of Guyana “have allowed hearsay, rumour and innuendo” about the likely eventual fate of the Skeldon Estate to persist. The statement said that reports about “the impending sale of the estate,” including the factory, had to be balanced against the fact that sugar is, by far “our largest employer and accounts for a major portion of economic activity with multiplier spinoffs, dictating growth or decline of the local economy, any change with the current setups is bound to have far-reaching social and economic impacts in our area.”

With regard to the fate of the Skeldon estate which has been at the centre of the wider national discourse on the future of the sugar industry, Jaichand said that what both the workers and the business community were seeking was “direct and meaningful involvement in the discourse so that the community as a whole can at least have an understanding of how the situation has been evolving from day to day.” While it does not appear that there has been any direct communication between the business community and either the Minister of Agriculture or GuySuCo over the future of the Skeldon Estate, Jaichand said the Chamber has been seeking to establish a line of communication through its umbrella body, the Private Sector Commission (PSC). The outcome of those efforts, it appears, have not been successful.

The Skeldon Sugar Estate

The Upper Corentyne Chamber’s Wednesday statement says that whether, in relation to the Skeldon Estate, change “may or may not be necessary…, we wish to remind all the powers that be that, as being in the frontline we should be involved in all of the deliberations and the negotiations where this change is to be effected.” The Chamber statement added that “the changes thought of now can best be accommodated by acceptance, recognition of needs and by the inclusion and participatory negotiations of all parties concerned.” Charging that where the ongoing negotiations are concerned the Upper Corentyne stakeholders are involved only at the level of “hearsay,” the statement called for a change in what the Upper Corentyne Chamber says it sees as the prevailing status quo. “This is definitely not how it should be. We too are Guyanese stakeholders in this entity… We are involved.”

Jaichand, who is due to be sworn in as Mayor of Corriverton shortly, after being elected at the recent mayoral elections told Stabroek Business that the situation at Skeldon had created “a deep and disturbing anxiety” at various levels in the Upper Corentyne Community and that there was now an urgent need to fill what he said was the existing information void.


Brazil Trade and Investment visit shifted to mid-February

A scheduled visit here by a Brazilian trade and investment delegation originally due to take place this month as a follow-up to one to Brazil by a team of Guyanese state officials last May has been postponed until mid-February, Stabroek Business has been informed.

Delay in getting Cubans home regrettable but bigger picture encouraging – Gouveia

Roraima Airways Chief Executive Officer Captain Gerry Gouveia says that the “legitimate concern” over the recent delay in returning home experienced by a number of Cubans on account of mechanical defects to the Air Aruba aircraft should not be allowed to overshadow the significance of the service to promoting “friendships and business ties” between Cuba and Guyana.   

IDB supporting initiative for Secured Transaction Regime in Guyana

Work towards the creation of a Secured Transaction Regime in Guyana is being accelerated through a collaborative arrangement between the Government of Guyana and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Lewis raps Trotman over letter praising relationship between Russian bauxite managers, workers

A letter written to the Managing Director of the majority Russian-owned    Bauxite Company of Guyana Inc.

Nearly $270m in loans facilitated by Small Business Bureau last year, 51% of target

Information released by the Small Business Bureau (SBB) last week indicates that during last year the agency facilitated a total of fifty loans to clients   valued at $269.7 million and up to November 30, 49 of those loans valued at $221.8 million were disbursed.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now