will issue statement
is a nationwide shortage of sugar, the
People’s National Congress Reform said
yesterday, as residents of Corentyne
complained bitterly that sugar could not be
Yesterday, the PNCR stated that it is clear
that this shortage of sugar is not confined to
that part of the country.
According the party, its leader, Robert
Corbin, visited the Corentyne to listen to the
complaints of residents.
There are reports, the party stated, that
sugar is increasingly scarce in Georgetown and
other urban areas.
This is a troubling development because sugar
is such an essential commodity for the
citizens, the PNCR states.
“A shortage will add to the burdens they
have to carry on a daily basis.”
In the circumstances, the PNCR is calling on
the Jagdeo Administration to explain
immediately why there is a shortage of sugar
and what steps are being taken to end this
Such an explanation, the party said, would not
only be helpful to the Guyanese consumers but
would also bring a degree of predictability in
the activities of those business entities,
which rely on sugar for the production of
pastries, soft drinks and other related items.
“Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Robert Persaud,
must be put on notice that propaganda will not
help him here. It is either he has sugar or he
Up to June 13 last, Guyana was still importing
sugar, even as Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco)
maintains to record a shortfall in sugar
In justification, Agriculture Minister, Robert
Persaud confirmed that the decision to import
sugar had not yet been reversed.
At the end of the just-concluded sugar crop,
Guysuco recorded a shortfall of 6,000 tons.
According to Persaud, the decision to import
sugar was taken strategically to get much of
Guyana’s sugar into Europe, before the end
of the sugar protocol, which expires at the
end of September.
He claimed that Guysuco makes more money by
importing sugar for consumption and exporting
the local sugar, for which it gets a premium
price, while at the same time not compromising
In February during the Budget debate, Alliance
For Change leader, Raphael Trotman, said that
Guyana’s economy is precariously poised on a
‘one-legged stool’. He was referring to
the sugar industry.
During the debate, the sugar industry came in
for much criticism, in light of the position
that the growth of the economy is touted to be
solely dependent on expected good performance
of the industry this year.
Trotman said that the most frightening aspect
of the 2009 budget is the ‘unreasonable
burden’ being placed on the sugar industry
to be the ‘bedrock’ of the country’s
economic sustainability for development.
Last year was a very tough year for Guysuco,
as the company ended the year with a deficit
of more than $3B.
Over the years, Guysuco has consistently been
reviewing its production targets, including
last year’s, and among the many excuses
proffered were far reaching strikes, weather
and loss of opportunity.
When this newspaper contacted the Ministry of
Agriculture on the issue last evening, it was
told that Guysuco was going to issue a
statement on the matter.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009