Higher targets of sugar production as 5000 hectares of land to become available at Skeldon – President Ali

Recognizing that traditional sectors such as sugar are highly integrated into Region Six’s economic environment, the government is making another 5000 hectares of land available at the Skeldon Sugar Estate, East Berbice-Corentyne.

His Excellency Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali made the announcement as he addressed an audience gathered for the formal opening of Republic Bank’s $1.2 billion Williamsburg branch Saturday.

Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

President Ali also revealed the production process at this location will be mechanized, thereby enhancing productivity and competitiveness.

“We have already sourced new varieties of canes that will be planted on those lands, so that not only will we achieve, or we’re working on achieving the target this year, but we are also working on achieving higher levels of target next year,” the head of state disclosed.

President Ali noted too that the administration is cognizant of the need for the human resource to evolve to keep pace with the industry’s modernisation.

That is why the government is actively discussing plans to retrain and retool the sugar workers to equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills, “But more importantly, how we’re going to integrate them in other aspects of expansion that will take place here in Berbice,” the president pointed out.

Moreover, Enmore, previously a sugar estate, is also set to undergo a transformation with the establishment of a sugar refinery. This new development is expected to have a significant impact on the country’s sugar industry by allowing for the production of refined sugar.

The head of state highlighted these developments as he recalled that the traditional sectors in the region experienced a massive downfall in the past four years.

This is primarily attributed to the policies and economic management that were implemented by the previous government.

The sugar and rice industries were hit hard, with both sectors witnessing a significant decline while the forestry sector in the East Berbice-Corentyne region ceased production.

And so, “Over the last three years we have had to find resources, financial and human resources to reinvigorate investments into these traditional sectors to the extent that we not only bring them back into operation and create jobs, but to the extent of bring them back into sustainable and resilient sectors,” he said.

Shifting his attention to the rice industry, the president noted significant investments were funneled into the drainage and irrigation infrastructure to sustain, increase and sustain production while incentives were reinstated.

“At the same time [we are] investing in higher yield varieties to increase yield and productivity and this is bringing tremendous results to this region and to the rice sector,” he said.

Remarkable progress has also been achieved in the region’s forestry sector owing to the government’s reinvestment and policies, including the advancement of value-added products.

“This is what we have been doing. This is what we have been investing in, taking up the value chain, improving the value chain, moving from raw material and the natural base productive capacity of the country into a value base productive capacity” President Ali underscored.

All these investments are aligned with the government’s integrated vision of a diversified economy, utilising resources earned from the petroleum resources to expand the economy while at the same time, buildingout the traditional sectors.

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