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On January 12, 1998, Moses Nagamootoo, then Minister of Information, went on television and told Indians to bear all they could bear and take their licks quietly on a day when African Guyanese took to the streets to beat, rob and rape Indians. He now wants to be president!

Guyana Indian Heritage Association, 19TH December,2003


Blairmont estate top Guysuco performer last year
The Champion workers in front and the runners-up at the back. (Keisha McCammon photo)

Blairmont Estate exceeded the industry average for the year 2004. This was announced on Saturday at Guysuco's annual workers' incentive ceremony held at the Albion Community Development Centre Ground, Corentyne, Berbice.

At the ceremony held to honour all Champion workers over the past year at the various East Berbice Estates, Chief Executive of Guysuco, Michael Boast congratulated the Blairmont Estate for its work. He stated that if the other estates emulated Blairmont then Guysuco would go a long way.

Ronald Alli, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, stated in his address that to date only Blairmont has achieved and surpassed its target. He added that the Agriculture Improvement target was 44,816 tonnes of sugar, the budget was 43,382 and that Blairmont achieved a stellar 49,329 tonnes of sugar last year.

Speaking about the Champion workers, Boast stated that the challenge left for the other workers is to follow the leadership of the top employees.

The workers who were honoured at Saturday's ceremony included the champion worker from Skeldon Estate, Niranjan Dasrat, a planter; first runner-up was staff nurse, Hubrajie R. Tirkha and the second runner-up was Roy K. Mackhan, a fitter/machinist.

General Manager of Blairmont Estate, Mickey Persaud with the champion estate trophy. (Keisha McCammon photo)

The Champion worker for Albion estate was Clifton H. Park, a lorry driver. The first runner-up was Lindon Patterson, a welder/fabricator and the second runner-up was Marcel King, a fitter/machinist.

The Champion worker for Rose Hall Estate was Terry Edwards, a cane harvester while the first runner-up was Rajendranauth Lalbehari, a mill auxiliary attendant. The second runner-up was Mohamed Ahamad, a welder/fabricator. The champion worker for Blairmont was Roger D. Mc Donald, a groundsman. The first runner-up was Inshanally Lackerbaj, a turbine operator and the second runner-up was Parmanand De Lawerance, a cane harvester.

The award for best performing estate went to Blairmont. The award was given to the General Manager of Blairmont, Mickey Persaud.

Alli stated that the industry was not in a crisis but there is a need for all stakeholders to work together. He noted that the pending sugar price cut by the European Union is one of the challenges now facing the industry and he stated that change has got to come but that in order to reach an agreement there must be dialogue. He added that the sugar industry is 300 years old but has only been owned for 30 years by the people of Guyana.

He noted that the January/February floods this year affected the crops tremendously in Demerara. Despite this, the production for 2004 was the second highest in 10 years. For some years, he said, they had projected to do better and he is not satisfied and will not accept just doing better than previous years. He said Guysuco is losing 10-15% of its sugar because canes are either burnt when persons go on strike or because they are left in the fields. This, he stated, needs to be changed and the new US$100M expansion project at Skeldon takes that on board. There is the misconception, he stated, that Skeldon would be the answer to all the problems but there is need to improve productivity.

There are problems with punt providers and Guysuco has reintroduced the construction of punts, he stated. They are also expecting 160 punts for this year. (Keisha McCammon)