GUYSUCO grinds to a halt; sugar shortage on the horizon

The installed PPP is aided by a handful of Guyana’s wealthiest men (numbering about 30). They can be considered the PPP+. This PPP regime and its + (plus) organ operating in Guyana, are bent on destroying the sugar industry in order to satisfy their own political and monetary ambitions.

Guyanese over the past few days are reporting a massive shortage of sugar in shops across the country.  The shortage is reportedly being experienced on the lower East Coast of Demerara and Linden. While other areas in Berbice and Essequibo are gradually feeling the effects of the shortage. The shortage is being blamed on the sell-out of the Enmore Sugar Estate and the closure of the Skeldon Estate in recent weeks.

The permanent closure of the Uitvlugt Estate Factory for the past month is also having an impact. During a meeting with the workers of the closed estate last week, Jagdeo urged the sugar workers to go and start a business to earn a living. The Vice President had no policy response to the most pressing issues facing the people.

During the 2020 elections campaign, the PPP promised to reopen the Wales Sugar Estate. Two years later and no effort has been made to reopen this estate. Instead, the PPP is closing the Uitvlugt Estate which will have a serious impact on production targets. The production target for 2022 is set at 65,000 tons after producing just 58,000 tons in 2021; 25,000 tons short of the 90,000 tons produced in 2019 under the APNU+AFC government.

In 2019, under the APNU+AFC, sugar production was 55% higher than it is today under the installed PPP. The government’s policy response to these critical issues has been to siphon off huge portions of riverfront lands in close proximity to the former West Demerara Estates to their friends who are among the + (plus) organ of the PPP government.

All efforts by the PPP to ‘make sugar great again’ has failed. Not only has the PPP failed to resurrect sugar; their response to job creation for thousands of Guyanese who became unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a nonfunctioning job bank website.

The APNU+AFC Government made the welfare of sugar workers and the adequate supply of locally produced sugar a top priority while in office, expanding on the International Labour Organisation, Decent Work Country programme,  by creating small businesses for former sugar workers.

The PPP has responded more positively to their + (plus) organ’s need than that of the working poor and unemployed in Guyana. While the price for a pound of sugar under the APNUAFC was $70 per pound, this commodity has risen to more than $140 per pound at the Kitty, La Penitence, Bourda, New Amsterdam and Stabroek markets.

Additionally, the APNU+AFC government, paid approximately $6B in compensation to sugar workers who lost their jobs between 2015-2020, as a means of cushioning the impact of the economic reality the families would have faced post-sugar. The PPP has failed to develop any policy approach whatsoever as it relates to the sugars industry they have failed to revamp.

More, In The Ring.