Even though top sugar experts have swallowed the bitter truth that Guyana will not be able to compete on the international market with its sugar for various reasons, they are hoping that a breakthrough would be possible with a new upgraded sugar called, “Enmore Crystals.”
This is according to Chairman of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), Dr. Clive Thomas.
In a recent interview, Dr Thomas, an Economist said, “The report on the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into GuySuCo will outline some of the measures and recommendations I had put forward, which could see the reform of the industry but I don’t want to go into that until the report has been made public by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Noel Holder. But what I would say is that Guyana remains in a position where it cannot be competitive on the world market.”
He added, “However, what is receiving great reviews is the option of upgrading our sugar which gives us some leverage to sell it for more. The product we are working on right now is called ‘Enmore Crystals’ and this packaged sugar is only being done in small quantities for the markets in Canada, USA and Britain.”
The GuySuCo Chairman said that the Board and Management believe that the packaged sugar will do better than “the ordinary sugar sold in the transparent plastic bag.” He noted that samples are already being taken to the three markets he outlined, among other places where contacts are made.
Dr. Thomas said, “We are trying to penetrate the market with small quantities and build up as time goes. We are basically doing this to see how we can get a higher price for our sugar. And so far, it has been receiving favourable reviews from our international contacts, so we are looking to see how this works out but there are other plans in the pipeline for the diversification of this product and bringing the industry back to good health.”
The Economist noted that signs of good health in the local sugar industry are already being detected.
For years, the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has been performing poorly.
Several sugar estates were failing to meet weekly and annual production targets, and the management of the State-owned company, among other factors, was blamed for the industry’s poor health.
But since the APNU+AFC coalition has taken hold of the reigns of governance, GuySuCo seems to be making some improvements. It recently reported that several estates have not only been meeting weekly targets but surpassing them. Even the controversial $200M Skeldon Factory has improved in its daily production.
In mid October, the corporation said that Skeldon saw its highest daily production since its commissioning in 2009. It recorded 515 tonnes of sugar, surpassing its previous highest of 501 tonnes which was achieved in September 2012.
It said, too, that with just two and half months left in the year, sugar production is on course with almost 78 percent of the target completed.
With regard to production, GuySuCo disclosed that it produced 10,254 tonnes of sugar for the week ending October 16, surpassing the 10,000 tonnes mark for the third time this crop.
Estates at Skeldon, Albion, Blairmont, East Demerara and Uitvlugt have all surpassed their weekly targets while Rose Hall Estate achieved 97 percent.
In mid-October, it was reported that the industry also recorded its highest daily production of 1,785 tonnes of sugar, surpassing its previous highest of 1,699 tonnes which was also achieved earlier in this crop.
The Uitvlugt Estate completed its second crop for 2015 on Saturday October 17 and produced 7,847 tonnes of sugar, surpassing its target by 733 tonnes.
“Further, the estate produced 16,428 tonnes of sugar for the year surpassing its year’s target by 1,065 tonnes.”
GuySuCo also announced that it has awarded its junior staffers and rank and file employees on the seven estates incentives totaling $285.7M for their achievement of 26 weekly production targets for the first crop, 2015.
For the second crop, the Corporation has doled out incentives totaling $531.5M for the achievement of 47 weekly production incentives.
Dr. Thomas had informed Kaieteur News that he is happy with the recent success of the sugar industry in some areas and noted that several plans are in the mainstream to help develop other areas.
He however declined to divulge what those are at this time.
The economist said, “But for the time being, I would say that I am pleased with the performance of the Corporation. It is proof of what good management can achieve. It’s a different kind of environment we have now; a healthy environment which encourages the staff, and fosters proper practices unlike what took place in the past.”
“I am pleased with the way the Skeldon factory seems to be improving. And I know that it can do more. But this is a good sign for the industry.GuySuCo’s recent success is also proof that political interference was a severe toxic element in the industry and to the Corporation. That is done with,” Dr Thomas said.
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