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Uitvlugt Estate surpasses first-crop target

first_imgAfter recently slumping to its lowest level in over two decades, the sugar industry is seemingly encountering a turnaround albeit at the Uitvlugt, West Coast Demerara Estate which surpassed its target for the first crop.According to a release on Thursday, the Estate produced a total of 7011 tonnes, beating the 6671 tonnes target. The first crop tonnage was garnered from crushing some 84,295 tonnes of sugarcane. According to Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), private sugarcane farmers produced about 42 per cent (35,176 tonnes) of the crushed sugarcane.0Head of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited’s Special Purpose Unit (SPU) Colvin Heath-London expressed that “the performance of the Uitvlugt Estate is very encouraging, especially at this time when the SPU is securing funding for the operations of GuySuCo. The funding has been predicated on improved production performance from GuySuCo’s three estates.”Acting GuySuCo Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Paul Bhim was quoted as saying that the Estate’s performance was the “first validation of the new strategy to downsize the company and focus its best talent on making the estates more efficient and ultimately profitable”. He added that “given the developments at the other two GuySuCo Estates, Albion and Blairmont, we expect the same improved performance to become a trend.”The downsizing that Bhim mentioned referred to the thousands of jobs that workers lost when their employment was severed. To date, many of these workers are still awaiting half or all of their severance pay as in the case of some Wales Sugar Estate workers. Many of those former employees opted against travelling to Uitvulgt to retain their jobs because it was beyond 10 miles from their original place of work.Nevertheless, the joint SPU and GuySuCo statement noted that the Uitvlugt Estate was so far leading the way for the crop by achieving four Weekly Production Targets.“In keeping with GuySuCo’s agreements, employees were rewarded with four days’ pay as incentive for their hard work, commitment and outstanding achievements during the crop,” the statement added.It was pointed out that Uitvlugt surpassed the production target after grinding for seven weeks despite “severe mechanical and processing challenges” affecting efficiency at the onset of the crop. It was further disclosed that the Factory Engineering Services Unit worked in collaboration with the Uitvlugt Factory team to ensure that those defects were quickly corrected.“Surpassing the production target is a significant achievement for the Uitvlugt Estate, and a testimony of the team work and leadership at the Estate. In addition to leadership, the rehabilitation of the cultivation, which was started two years ago, and revised harvesting procedures in the crop assisted immensely in the Estate achieving its target,” the State bodies observed.At the end of 2016, sugar production dropped to 183,652 tonnes after 231,000 tonnes was produced in 2015. For 2017, Government had forecasted sugar production in its budget at 208,000 tonnes, but only 137,307 tonnes was recorded.last_img

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