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There is another sugar shortage on local market

By KNews | Filed Under News 

Guysuco will issue statement

There 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 obtained.
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 shortage.
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 does not,”
Up to June 13 last, Guyana was still importing sugar, even as Guyana Sugar Corporation (Guysuco) maintains to record a shortfall in sugar production.
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 consumers’ demand.
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