Guyana government still backing sugar industry

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 23, 2008 – Guyana’s Agriculture Minister has assured government’s commitment to keeping the sugar industry going, saying that the sector still has a bright future.

Robert Persaud said the industry has potential for continued viability and increased competitiveness and as he said government continues its investment, he also urged private cane farmers to play their role in helping the process.

He has rebutted suggestions that cane farming is no longer profitable because of the world situation regarding sugar and changes in the marketing arrangement with Europe.

“There is much sense in cane farming…The Government itself is sinking close to US$200 million in the sugar industry. So why would we put so much money in the sugar industry if we think it would not work?” Mr Persaud asked.

He pointed out that activities such as the ongoing modernisation at Skeldon and establishment of a packaging facility at Enmore are part of the strategic plan being pursued by the government to ensure that the industry develops.

Although acknowledging challenges, including the cut in the price which the European market will pay the region for sugar, Mr Persaud said there was no doubt that the investment returns will be positive.