Poor performance of Blairmont Estate is due to lack of canes in the fields

Dear Editor,

I saw in the May 10 edition of the Stabroek News, GuySuCo saying that it is on its way to achieving its first crop target. That sounds like good news. But at Blairmont Estate, it is a completely different story.

The article I saw says Blairmont has produced 8,879 tonnes of sugar, though it should have produced 7,955 tonnes. But this is far from Blairmont’s capacity and capability.

In the 2018 first crop, Blairmont produced 9,121 tonnes of sugar; in 2017 we produced 9,065 tonnes; in 2016, production was 11,878 tonnes, and in 2015, it was 13,861 tonnes. We have fallen a far way from where we were just a few years ago and many workers are worried.

As a worker of Blairmont for many years now, this crop is among the worst I can recall. Some weeks, we achieve about 50% to 60% of our weekly target.

The poor performance of Blairmont is due to the lack of canes in the fields. Some canes seem to be stunted and are very short. This has resulted in a poor cane yield. In fact, I heard that the estate is getting around 52 tonnes of cane per hectare. This is very poor and says something is clearly wrong at Blairmont.

Editor, this is not the Blairmont I know. The estate, for many years, was the best performing estate in the company and was deemed the champion estate. Now, it is a far way from what it once was.

I wonder what is really taking place. I see in the Stabroek News article that Uitvlugt workers have gotten four days’ pay as incentives. I am happy for them as their estate, which used to be poorly performing, has improved, while at Blairmont it has gone the other way.

I hope that my letter would be published and something will be done to improve the situation at Blairmont.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address supplied)

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