Jul 28, 2022 News
As sugar shortage bites…
Kaieteur News – A major local distributor is refuting the claims made by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuco) that there is no shortage of the commodity.
This comes amidst concerns raised by businesses and consumers alike, who have been complaining bitterly about the shortage of the sweetener while GuySuco continues to maintain there is shortage in the bulk, only of packaged sugar.
However, the frustrated businessman (name given) told Kaieteur News that this is absolutely not the case. “I have been buying sugar directly from GuySuco for over 30 years but this is the first time I have been unable to meet my quota,” the businessman explained.
The distributor explained that he usually purchases a weekly order from the sugar factory but he has been put on a wait list for six weeks. “They [GuySuco] is making me wait for six weeks and when they finish they are only giving me 25 percent of my order. So, I want the public to know that the factory is only trying to fool people. Everybody, seeing it as clear as day that sugar is not there on the shelves.”
The businessman noted too that the Sugar Corporation has been meeting with distributors and telling them that only certain categories of people will be given preferential treatment. The distributor revealed: “At the meeting they are telling us that we need to hold off on the orders because they are looking at three categories of customers that is; the manufacturers, the bakery and the supermarkets. Everybody else has to wait.”
He continued: “I don’t think they understand the impact this shortage has on businesses like mine or on the working class and poorer class consumers. They are saying that there is price gouging but they are causing it! And in the end, is the poor man who will suffer.”
The distributor opined too that GuySuco has other options but the company is refusing to take to ease the burden off the people. “It is no secret that GuySuco has been failing to produce sugar at a profitable rate. Every turn you make, the company is seeking a bail out which amounts to billions of dollars because sugar production is no longer viable in Guyana. It has become cheaper to import sugar than to produce it here so why the government does not want to import from places like Guatemala which is cheaper… They don’t want to face the reality of a dying industry where the production days are over and they want to use sugar as an excuse to take funds out the treasury, “the businessman pointed out.
He nonetheless called on GuySuco to take steps to contain the situation before it gets out-of-hand.
Earlier this month, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GuySuCo, Sasenarine Singh had published a video on social media refuting a shortage of bulk sugar countrywide. He however confirmed that there is a shortage of the packaged sugar on the local market. Singh had also guaranteed that the packaged sugar is going to be back on the market within two weeks. The CEO in his brief explanation said “GuySuCo doesn’t have shortage of bagged sugar, what GuySuCo have is a shortage of its packaged sugar, but you can only do packaged sugar when we are grinding.”
While the CEO insists that there is no shortage of sugar across the country, the Bank of Guyana in its quarterly report stated that this year there were decreases in the production of sugar by 47.7 percent. The decrease recorded this year by the Bank was attributed to the halt in grinding at the Uitvlugt Sugar Estate, caused by mechanical issues, which impacted production, as this estate was responsible for 25 percent of output. As reported on, the Uitvlugt Estate was down since March due to mechanical issues of its #1Mill turbine gearbox. The gearbox had to be replaced with a new one from overseas.
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