PPP-led gov’t spent $9 billion to produce 1000 tons of sugar

Agricultural Minister Zulficar Mustapha disclosed, during an examination of the national budget estimates for 2024, that the rehabilitation of the Rose Hall Sugar Estate, which is under the leadership of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), cost in excess of $9 billion. The Minister was under interrogation by Shadow Minister of Agriculture Vinceroy Jordan at the time.

Dr. Rajendra Singh, the “hand-picked” CEO of GUYSUCO, the state-owned enterprise responsible for industry’s management, told Guyana GUYSUCO was in “virtual bankruptcy” in 2015, according to an editorial in the Stabroek News, June 1, 2015.

During their 23 years in office, the Diamond Sugar Estate was shut down in 2011 and the LBI Sugar Estate was similarly shut down in 2012. The APNU+AFC Coalition initiated the process of “right-sizing the industry” upon assuming power in 2015, following, among other things, the sugar industry’s earlier loss of preferential pricing on the global market.

The decision to reopen the Rose Hall Estate was made by the PPP. Minister Mustapha pledged a study prior to the reopening of estates in 2020. No research was conducted.

Juretha Fernandes, the Shadow Minister of Finance, stated in her presentation that foreign earnings from the sugar industry decreased by US$2.9 million between 2019 and 2023, from US$27.7 million under the Coalition government to US$24.9 million under the PPP.