GuySuCo halts private farmers cane supply

GuySuCo halts private farmers cane supply

first_imgWales Estate closureBy Shemuel FanfairAs the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) prepares to cease operations at the Wales Sugar Estate, West Bank Demerara (WBD), last Saturday was the final day the corporation accepted canes from private planters.Final days of Wales – GuySuCo to make final decision on factory closing date todayGuyana Times was told on Sunday that much of the farmers’ canes were left in the backlands, which has amounted to wasted produce. Information reaching this newspaper also indicated that GuySuCo deserted the majority of the sugar cane it had in its control.However, the final cane supply has already been accepted at Wales Estate and is currently being processed. This newspaper was told this would occur over a three-day period and after that operations will be halted.Following the repeated mechanical disruptions that occurred late into Saturday night – the same day the final canes were accepted – the Police were reportedly alerted to be on patrol to monitor activities at the estate.Meanwhile, today GuySuCo’s senior management is likely to make the final decision on the entity’s closure. This follows reports received by this publication that instructions have already been issued to Wales Factory managers that the boiler must be shut off today.Additionally, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder in an interview with Guyana Times last week reaffirmed that sugar operations at Wales would not extend beyond the December 31, 2016, that Government had already announced for the entity’s closure.“No worker in the factory will be continuing service at Wales; the crop has to finish at Wales by December 31, 2016,” the Minister stated.Holder had further told this newspaper that lands controlled by GuySuCo were being prepared for rice cultivation. In September, the sugar corporation had disclosed that it intended to convert some 485 acres at Wales Estate into rice cultivation. Holder had also informed Guyana Times that plans are in the pipeline for remaining lands to be converted for planting “other crops” when lands for sugarcane cultivation are no longer operable. In February, the Minister had told the National Assembly that the sugar factory would be converted into a business establishment that will see the rearing of poultry and other livestock.With the expected final days to the closure of the estate, the future and livelihood of over 1000 workers and the sustenance of their families remain uncertain.GAWU maintains that over the last 11 months, it has been in the dark over the Wales conversion plans, noting that GuySuCo has offered little explanation on the future of many of the workers. The closure of the over a century estate by yearend has affected some 1700 workers directly and thousands of persons in the Wales and surrounding communities indirectly.The decision to close the entity was confirmed by Government in January 2016 after Guyana Times broke the news earlier that month.last_img

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