GuySuCo given $4B in Budget 2023, Albion packaging plant to be constructed

Finance Minister Dr Ashni Singh this afternoon announced a $4B subsidy to the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) during his Budget 2023 presentation.

This year’s budget is themed, “Improving lives today, building prosperity for tomorrow.”

According to Singh, the Government remains committed to the revitalisation and restructuring of the sugar industry to support a diversified and modernised sector, ensuring its sustainability and economic viability.

He noted that since returning to office, the Government have invested over $10 billion in plant and equipment and rehabilitated cane fields at all factory locations.

“We have fostered private sector partnerships through lending support to cane farmers to expand land under cultivation. Moreover, sir, we have sought to reenergise local economies through the rehiring of 1479 workers.”

He reminded the National Assembly that those workers were “unconscionably dismissed” by the APNU/AFC when they were in office.

“…we have delivered sir a cash grant that refer as mentioned earlier. To all workers who are suffered. “

Singh also said that in 2022, Government advanced the recapitalisation of Albion, which was flooded and Blairmont, adding that “we remodeled the marketing and sales mix to move away from bulk sugar to package higher value-added sugar.”

This year, he added, in support of the sugar industry and those who work in that industry, the government has allocated $4 billion for GuySuCo.

“Out of which we will see the commencement of construction of the Albion packaging plant and the expansion of the capacity of the Blairmont packaging plant. We have also targeted, Sir the acquisition of a drying machine to improve the quality of our package sugar, and the acquisition and deployment of a stick packaging machine to offer a smaller sachet of sugar to meet the needs of premium markets.”

Additionally, the finance minister pointed out that it is anticipated that grinding operations at Rose Hall will commence in the second prop of 2023 “and smokes or will once again rise from the chimneys” at the estates.

In December 2022, the Agriculture Ministry secured a total of $1 billion which was injected into advancing works at GuySuCo.

Mustapha during his presentation to the National Assembly had explained that the money will be spent on rehabilitating critical areas in the factories while enhancing and expanding cultivation in the cane fields.

The Albion Sugar Estate received $363 million; Blairmont estate $76 million and Rose Hall estate $561 million. Among the items listed to be procured are five 30-inch disc ploughs and five tilling harrows for the Rose Hall estate.

In the 2022 Budget, continued efforts to recapitalise the sugar industry led to an injection of an additional $3.5 billion to the Guyana Sugar Corporation.  The monies were made available under approvals for the Agriculture Ministry under the supplementary budget. Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha had said that these sums allow for resources so that the factories can operate at its optimum.