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Post Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:35 pm

Posts: 18850

By Abena RockcliffeNoting that the Alliance For Change (AFC) finds it “extraordinary” that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has the resources to pay its Board Chairman US$25,000 monthly, provide two houses and other huge “perks” for him and the “fat cats at the top,” but “crakes” to find money to do what is important, party leader Khemraj Ramjattan said that the entire Board should be fired.The AFC parliamentarian said that his party noted the comments of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GuySuCo, Paul Bhim that the first sugar crop for 2013 will produce the “lowest production that we’ve (GuySuCo) ever had as far as the records go”.Ramjattan expressed, however, that the AFC is not surprised by that pronouncement since the party and the sugar unions had warned GuySuCo,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, since 2009, of the imminent challenges facing the sugar industry.He noted that the AFC pleaded with the Government to support GuySuCo to lessen the risks by investing more in the field infrastructure to enhance productivity.According to Ramjattan, the AFC has since consulted many experts and workers, and has been reliably advised that the best practice of replanting the cane field, along with “flood fallowing” every five years, has now been abandoned in GuySuCo.“Rather, GuySuCo is now conducting the vital process after a period averaging between eight to twelve years. This is most unfortunate since these deliberate delays in flood fallowing and replanting is a guaranteed formula for considerably reversing decline in cane productivity. The experts that we have consulted have made it clear that as a result of the abandonment of these good cultivation practices by GuySuCo, the fibre and trash content would increase, which translates to a poorer quality cane being delivered to the sugar mills compared to the past years.”“It is time to turn the Board of  GuySuCo on its head since it is clear they do not know what it takes to lead GuySuCo. The AFC demands the firing of the entire Guysuco Board forthwith. It is clear that the Board of Directors at Guysuco has zero sympathy for the industry and the plight of the workers. Among them are greedy and self-interested persons who believe that because they are friends of the PPP, they can live the high life off the sweat of the poor man and abandon the one thing that would turnaround GuySuCo… good quality cane.”Ramjattan called too for a return to focusing the primary efforts at Guysuco to the fields and factories, rather than benefits for the “fat cats”, and for all efforts to be made to take the cane sugar ratio from its 2012 levels of 12.69 to the pre-1999 levels of 10.88.“Better yet, we believe as a strategy that GuySuCo should aim for single digit cane sugar ratios. Unfortunately, because of the poor quality factory acquired by the Jagdeo administration, the Skeldon Factory takes “16.29 tons of cane to produce one ton of sugar vs. a ratio of 10.52 at Albion” as highlighted by Mr. Vieira, a former Estate Administrator.”Ramjattan stated with emphasis that “those who imposed the Skeldon Factory on this nation at such a high cost with so little return are nothing less than unpatriotic and disloyal to this nation. They were more focused on securing more personal wealth rather than the good of the nation.”He further highlighted, “It must be noted that none other than His Excellency the President was a key member of the GuySuCo Board for most of the years under which all these poor investment decisions were made, and therefore His Excellency is also directly responsible for the state of the sugar belt today.”Ramjattan noted, “We have real problem at GuySuCo thanks to the poor leadership of the Jagdeo Ramotar cabal. He said that the AFC is calling on the Ramotar administration to launch a full Commission of Inquiry into the operations of GuySuCo and to immediately appoint a new Board with suitable talent in areas of expertise useful to the sugar industry “so that we all can change the current practices and rebuild the industry”.The AFC is also calling on the Government to approach the Brazilian or Indian government for technical assistance in designing a practical plan with a focus on rehabilitation, rationalization and modernization of the sugar industry to ensure long-term profitability.“The AFC is prepared to support any professionally designed plan laid in Parliament that will help secure the long-term efficiency and sustainability of the sugar industry once our core value of transparency, accountability and inclusivity is followed.”

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