Uitvlugt surpasses first crop target

-but output below last year’s figure

Paul Bhim

GuySuCo’s Uitvlugt Estate has surpassed its target for the first crop of 2018, the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) announced yesterday.

A NICIL-SPU statement said after grinding for seven weeks, the Estate was able to produce a total of 7,011 tonnes of sugar by crushing 84,295 tonnes of sugarcane, 42% (35,176 tonnes) of which were from private cane farmers.

The target was set at 6,671 tonnes for the first crop. However, last year’s first crop figure was 7,045 tonnes which would call into question the effectiveness of the changes made over the last year.

The sugar corporation’s target for this year is also almost 2,000 tonnes less than last year as the 2017 first crop target for the Estate was 8,339 tonnes of sugar.

The statement said that the first crop’s target was achieved despite severe mechanical and processing challenges affecting efficiencies at the start of the crop.

“The Factory Engineer-ing Services Unit in collaborating with Uitvlugt Factory team worked to ensure that those defects were quickly corrected. As a result, the estate was able to surpass its weekly production target for four of the seven weeks during the grinding period,” the statement said.

It added that passing the production target is a significant achievement and is a testimony to team work and leadership at the estate. It also noted that the revised harvesting procedures that were started two years ago also significantly contributed to the performance of the estate.

“The performance of Uitvlugt Estate for this first crop is the first validation of the new strategy to downsize the company and focus on its best talent on making the estates more efficient and profitable. Given the developments at the other two GuySuCo Estates – Albion and Blairmont – we expect the same improved performance to become the trend,” the statement quoted acting GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer Paul Bhim as saying.

It added that the Estate is currently leading the way for the crop by achieving four weekly production targets and in keeping with GuySuCo’s agreements, the employees were rewarded with four days’ pay as incentive “for their hard work, commitment and outstanding achievements during the crop.”

“The performance of the Uitvlugt Estate is very encouraging especially at this time when the SPU [Special Projects Unit] is securing funding for the operations of GuySuCo. The funding has been predicated on improved production performance from GuySuCo’s three estates,” SPU head Colvin Heath-London was quoted as saying in the statement.

The Uitvlugt Estate is one of the three Estates that remain under the purview of GuySuCo after the downsizing that led to the closure of the other estates last year.

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