The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday secured an additional $3 billion to provide resources for operational expenses at the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
Of the sum approved, a total of $1 billion will be injected into advancing works at GuySuCo, while the remaining $2 billion will go towards advancing NDIA’s operations.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha 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 will receive $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.
Minister Mustapha pointed out that under the APNU+AFC Government, some 23,000 hectares of cane lands were abandoned due to the closure of the Wales, Rose Hall, Enmore and Skeldon estates.
“We were able to put back approximately 2,000 hectares which are already under cultivation at Rose Hall, and we will continue to move apace with the work we have undertaken. Hopefully by the second crop 2023 Rose Hall can come into operation,” the agriculture minister posited.
He said government was successful at employing about 1,500 sugar workers who were dismissed when the doors to the factories were forcefully shut.
“So, these monies are critical funds to rehab GuySuCo, and we are seeing now because of the flood that we have encountered in 2021, a lot of the prime estates like Albion… many cultivation areas were damaged. Now we are retooling and trying to get enough cultivation to have enough cane and increased production,” the minister highlighted.
While disaggregating information on NDIA’s allocation, the minister disclosed that the sum of $46 million will go to Region Two, $272 million to Region Three, and $588 million to Region Four.
Accordingly, Region Five was allocated $97 million, Region Six $228 million, Region Nine $9 million and Region 10 $70 million.
The minister noted too that $426 million was budgeted to undertake mechanical works to NDIA equipment, as well as $261 million is set aside to cover fuel.