I refer to the disclosure by GuySuCo that they have surpassed the 2014 target. GuySuCo has been very lucky in 2014, since it received one of the lowest rainfalls in decades. The achievement therefore of the target, reduced from 219,000 tonnes (they gave only a few short weeks after they met the Economics Services Committee of the parliament), to 216,000 tonnes may have more to do with how many tonnes of cane the corporation took to make a ton of sugar [TC/TS] in such a dry year, than it had to do with anything that the Corporation did to make it achieve the 216,000 tonnes.
It is therefore very probable that the weather had more to do with the achievement of this target than anything that they did to make the industry more efficient. If this is the case there is no cause for celebration, and is in fact, a massive deception on the Guyanese people who have to carry this white elephant with their taxes probably in perpetuity.
And again I would like to restate that at the beginning of 2014 the strategic plan of the corporation told us to expect 278,752 tonnes in 2014. The corporation dropped short not by 10,000 tonnes; it dropped short by 62,752 tonnes, nearly 30 per cent.
The corporation should therefore tell us how many tonnes of canes it reaped in 2014 as compared to 2013. We already know how many tonnes of sugar GuySuCo produced, so we will know what the tonne cane to tonne sugar ratio (TC/TS) was for us to determine if the corporation is improving, some relevant factory data should also be released—boiling house efficiency, time lost out of cane and most importantly, the cost per pound.
We can’t have these incompetent people running around the place patting themselves on the back, when the entire improvement was due to the weather and not through any actual initiatives introduced by GuySuCo. What happens when we get a rainy year?
This is our industry—the people’s industry— and running it in secret like this without any annual reports since 2009 is not acceptable, especially since they need our taxes to keep it afloat.
Also, and I am sure that the old industry practitioners who understand the dynamics of the industry in the past, would surely like to know how exactly this corporation can possibly tell us that “In the coming year, the Corporation will analyze the effectiveness of the new initiatives that were introduced in 2014, including the use of briquettes for steam generation, bio-fertilizers and legume fallowing”.
I would like to know exactly where and when these were introduced since they are all completely unworkable like the special sugar manufacturing facilities at Enmore and Blairmont and we are not aware that any start has been made in any of them. The media were not made aware that any new plant was being declared open, and there was no announcement from the corporation that these initiatives were actually being started, so how can we evaluate their effectiveness?
Of more importance to us would be an evaluation of the changing of the fields to accommodate mechanisation and what has been the effect on the yields on those fields. At all times we have to bear in mind the cry of the former chief executive officer, Paul Bhim, and the head of GAWU, Komal Chand, that there are no canes in the fields.
This is why we need to know the total tonnes of cane reaped in 2014 compared to 2013. Also, we would like to be assured that this target was not achieved by reaping the six-month old canes of the 2015 first crop.
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