Close to 5,000 hectares of land have already been converted for mechanised cane harvesting, as part of the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s (GuySuCo) efforts to increase productivity.

This update was recently provided by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during an episode of the Guyana Dialogue.

“To date, we have close to 5,000 hectares of land which have already been converted into mechanisation, where we are having harvesting machines cutting…These things are already in place to modernise GuySuCo,” Minister Mustapha pointed out.

Mechanised harvesting refers to the use of machinery or automated equipment to gather crops from fields. The approach replaces or supplements manual labour for a faster outcome.

Since 2020, major improvements have been recorded and significant investments have been made to rehabilitate and modernise sugar factories and cane fields countrywide.

It is anticipated that the conversion of land for mechanised harvesting will continue in 2024, targeting an additional 7,100 hectares.

Minister Mustapha stated, “We still have options at Skeldon. We will start planting canes shortly there. We are planning to do another 5,000 hectares of planting there.”

Highlighting the significance of value-added production, the agriculture minister noted that the plan is to produce more than just raw or bulk varieties.

He explained that currently there are opportunities available in the Caribbean where Guyana can sell over 2,000 tonnes of refined sugar.

Furthermore, he indicated that to increase the tonnes of cane per hectare, high-yielding varieties will be introduced as part of the strategies outlined for GuySuCo.

“When I became minister of agriculture, they had just about 35 to 40 tonnes of canes per hectare, which you cannot survive in an industry if you are producing 35 to 40 tonnes of canes per hectare. You have to produce 75 to 80 and beyond,” Minister Mustapha explained.

Currently, GuySuCo’s two cane types are yielding excellent results.

Additionally, a team from India recently visited Guyana where a study was conducted on the industry. A report currently being compiled by the team will be provided to the minister.

In light of that report, Minister Mustapha remains optimistic that some technical personnel can also join GuySuCo and contribute to the industry’s advancement.

Meanwhile, the Rose Hall Sugar Estate recommenced operations in September 2023, which is in keeping with the PPP/C manifesto’s promise to revitalising the sugar sector.

From 2020 to 2023, production has increased from 47,000 to 60,000 tonnes.

This year, $6 billion is allocated to GuySuCo towards improving the productivity and operational efficiency of the sugar sector. (DPI)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here