PPP’s pledge to reopen shuttered sugar estates ‘foolishness’

-Badal says move would be costly, take time

December 5 2019

Source

Robert Badal

Robert Badal

Reopening shuttered sugar estates would require hefty funding and time to transform them from their current states to financial profitability, says Change Guyana presidential candidate Robert Badal who warned voters to be wary of grandiose promises from politicians.

Taking a direct jab at the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), which has promised and has stated in its manifesto that it would reopen three of the four shuttered sugar estates, rehire laid off sugar workers and bring the factories into profitability, Badal labelled the promises “foolishness” and “lies”.

“From my business experience, that is impractical. And I would say, without any apology, they are trying to lie to the people, lie to the people again. You cannot close that sugar estate and after a year reopen that sugar estate. It is impossible!” he contended.

“Why re-open an estate in the current state and the estate can’t pay their bills,” he questioned.

PPP presidential candidate Irfaan Ali has told this newspaper that except for the Wales, West Bank Demerara estate, where sugar cultivation has been discontinued and the infrastructure dismantled and lands sold, a PPP government will ensure the three other estates closed by the APNU+AFC government are reopened, running efficiently and turning a profit.

“We have already made it clear publicly that we intend to reopen three of the four estates…,” Ali had said as he explained that while Wales will not be reopened, he has plans to bring back economic opportunities for persons in that area.

Badal rubbished Ali’s plan saying that if the party was true to itself and the people, it would explain that not only would it require billions of dollars to make the estates operational since the lands that have been sold would have to be repossessed, but cane would also have to be planted and harvested and machinery purchased.

Badal, the proprietor of the Pegasus Hotel, also flayed the APNU+AFC coalition for its four-year management of the sector saying that it was sufficient time to see a turnaround but the party procrastinated on making any changes.

The Change Guyana presidential candidate recalled that on a visit to the Enmore estate last weekend, he observed three tractors, each worth $85 million, just left exposed to the elements. He added that punts used for transport of sugarcane within the estates were just left in the water and weeds and grass had taken them over.  Badal, who as a teenager worked on a sugar estate, said that government should have sought advice on what to do with the equipment and machines used. “I was so taken aback by the level of decline. When I went there I saw the punts…and weed take the punts over.  You cannot just leave the punt like that, you lift them out and you store them,” he said, explaining that they should have been pulled out of the water, cleaned and placed in proper storage.

He said that government knew that it would want to sell the estates as going concerns but made no move to protect the assets of those estates. “Because it is not their money, they don’t care,” he said.

Badal said that his party has a sound plan not just for sugar but also agriculture and should it be elected to office, the country would see an immediate turnaround.

“Our alternative to those estates is to ensure that we return the existing estates to profitability, through reorganisation and diversification. They had a long time since the 70s to have co-generation [of electricity] in all sugar estates. Albion alone can produce 20 megawatts and the demand in East Berbice is 18 megawatts. You can power East Berbice by co-generation. But you know what’s the crux of it, it’s the leadership,” he said.

Change Guyana in office, said Badal, will see that the Guyana School of Agriculture (GSA) is given enough funding to ensure that quality lecturers are retained and practicals are done.

“We have the agriculture school, the GSA, and we will continue with that and the degree with agriculture at the University of Guyana. If we are doing sugar, there must be an internship programme and some of the lecturers must come from sugar. Currently, the curriculum doesn’t cater for that. Students graduate and don’t know anything about in the fields,” he said.

“We will make sure that the curriculum benefits them and they have better interface…,” he added.

Badal also believes that the National Agricultural Research & Extension Institute (NAREI) is not doing enough.

“We will make NAREI more [of] a research entity. I used for be there, and I know onto this day NAREI hasn’t brought out any significant crop that can be scaled up to production. Take for example, limes and lemons is demanded all over the world. Our soil can produce…all the citrus. The value added is so much; these can be expanded but needs research and marketing,” he said.

“Trinidad is right there; only two days transit by boat and yet no pineapples from Guyana there,” he observed.


 
Badal , have a point  regarding the shuttered estates. Diversification is the way to go , in colonial times coffee was the main crop on some plantations .
Original Post

Can Caribbean Sugar Make A Sweet Comeback?

According to the SAC, “a regional sugar industry supplying the needs of industrial users of sugar in the region makes sense– both to reduce import costs, support CARICOM industries, and provide long-term consistent pricing, beneficial to both buyer and seller.”

In April 2019, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) funded a study to determine whether locally produced plantation white would be suitable for regional manufacturing. The findings, which were reported at a sugar stakeholders’ meeting in Belize in October, revealed that soft drink makers Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé have been using plantation white sugar in manufacturing for some time and that this sugar could be used in manufacturing once production facilities make changes to processes, meeting requirements for colour and other impurities. This was a huge victory for the SAC.

“We import two-thirds of the estimated 320,000 tonnes of the refined sugar consumed annually within CARICOM,” said Daniel Best, CDB’s Director of Special Projects. “If plantation white can be substituted for refined white sugar, regional producers can capture a larger share of the sugar market and the region can save considerable foreign exchange.”

These findings have opened a market for 160,000 tonnes per annum of plantation white sugar and cut extra-regional imports of refined sugar, of about 200,000 tonnes per year.

Another hurdle that the sector will need to overcome is the high production cost of plantation white sugar, causing foreign sugar imports to be a more cost effective option. Producers have agreed to meet to discuss issues pertaining to the supply and price of the product.

Over the past two years, Guyana has closed three sugar estates and sent home approximately 4,000 workers, but in the wake of October’s sugar stakeholder meetings, it initiated plans to begin producing plantation white and Jamaica’s Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Audley Shaw, has recognized that the sector needs a revamp and more needs to be done. It is expected that these markets will soon begin producing liquid sugar for use in beverage factories.

In Barbados, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, the Honourable Indar Weir has been working on putting over 100 acres of Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) land back into sugar production with special emphasis on drought-resistant strains of sugar cane.

“I fully support the capacity building efforts that are designed to transition the sugar industry to a full value chain development (VCD) project,” said Minister Weir. “This will provide us with new revenue streams along the full value chain so that all Barbadians can own shares in a new profitable entity that will give farmers, manufacturers and retailers new hope for empowerment and enfranchisement.”

As the leading regional producer of plantation refined white sugar, with more than 99% market share, the prospects for Belizean sugar look good. The Government of Belize continues to play a major role in regional discussions to secure a CARICOM market for Caribbean sugar products.

In the Caribbean, the failure of a sector that employs over 40,000 and indirectly supports up to 400,000 persons would be tragic. In order to avoid this devastating outcome the interests of all stakeholders from sugar to manufacturing as well as the needs of the end user, both from a price and quality perspective need to be taken into account, while focusing on innovation and opportunities such as the generation of alternative energy (17% of Belize’s energy requirements are supplied by sugar mills) and the development of new products. 

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I’m an environmental writer with a focus on food and agriculture, and commute between the Southern Caribbean (Barbados) and the Northern Caribbean (Cayman Islands). I have a Master’s Degree in International Economic Policy from Columbia University and am passionate about Caribbean social, economic and environmental issues. I am intrigued by the resilience of the Small Island Developing States of the region as well as the opportunities for sustainable and regenerative growth through agriculture. I recently headed up communications for a climate change in fisheries project (CC4FISH) at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and have worked in development banking, environmental not-for-profits, and in the venture capital industry. My work has appeared in wide cross-section of Caribbean newspapers and magazines, the Sunday Times (of London), Elite Daily, Elephant Journal and other publications. Follow me on Twitter at @daphneewingchow.

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/ww...-sweet-comeback/amp/

Hey hey hey...me wonda weh dem go sell de sugar? Hey hey hey...anyhow...Mr Badal is sayin true. Mr Badal buss dem rass foh win de Pegasus. Dem mek Marriott foh kill Peg and now Peg extend USD 100 mill. De man is wan hard core capitalis and doan need dem political loyal foh survive...hey hey hey. Anyhow Mr Badal can tell how much true he want...dis time is who pan tap. Blackman voting foh dem mattie 99% and now dem Indos votin foh dem coolie elite with dacta degree with de West Bank transcripy 99% too...hey hey hey. Dem poor Indos doan mind de lie bout de sugar from de coolie elite...hey hey hey. Indo base voting 99% foh dem coolie elite wid west coast transcript...hey hey hey. No aile revenue cyan cure de white mout and berry berry dem getting when Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Jagdoe win. 

Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...me wonda weh dem go sell de sugar? Hey hey hey...anyhow...Mr Badal is sayin true. Mr Badal buss dem rass foh win de Pegasus. Dem mek Marriott foh kill Peg and now Peg extend USD 100 mill. De man is wan hard core capitalis and doan need dem political loyal foh survive...hey hey hey. Anyhow Mr Badal can tell how much true he want...dis time is who pan tap. Blackman voting foh dem mattie 99% and now dem Indos votin foh dem coolie elite with dacta degree with de West Bank transcripy 99% too...hey hey hey. Dem poor Indos doan mind de lie bout de sugar from de coolie elite...hey hey hey. Indo base voting 99% foh dem coolie elite wid west coast transcript...hey hey hey. No aile revenue cyan cure de white mout and berry berry dem getting when Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Jagdoe win. 

Hey cane juice man!  Our man has a PhD!  Suh mind yuh manners!  Did any other previous presidents had a PhD?

Baseman posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...me wonda weh dem go sell de sugar? Hey hey hey...anyhow...Mr Badal is sayin true. Mr Badal buss dem rass foh win de Pegasus. Dem mek Marriott foh kill Peg and now Peg extend USD 100 mill. De man is wan hard core capitalis and doan need dem political loyal foh survive...hey hey hey. Anyhow Mr Badal can tell how much true he want...dis time is who pan tap. Blackman voting foh dem mattie 99% and now dem Indos votin foh dem coolie elite with dacta degree with de West Bank transcripy 99% too...hey hey hey. Dem poor Indos doan mind de lie bout de sugar from de coolie elite...hey hey hey. Indo base voting 99% foh dem coolie elite wid west coast transcript...hey hey hey. No aile revenue cyan cure de white mout and berry berry dem getting when Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Jagdoe win. 

Hey cane juice man!  Our man has a PhD!  Suh mind yuh manners!  Did any other previous presidents had a PhD?

Hey hey hey...bai Forbes had nuff nuff road sense...look weh dat get abie. Hey hey hey...

Labba posted:
Baseman posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...me wonda weh dem go sell de sugar? Hey hey hey...anyhow...Mr Badal is sayin true. Mr Badal buss dem rass foh win de Pegasus. Dem mek Marriott foh kill Peg and now Peg extend USD 100 mill. De man is wan hard core capitalis and doan need dem political loyal foh survive...hey hey hey. Anyhow Mr Badal can tell how much true he want...dis time is who pan tap. Blackman voting foh dem mattie 99% and now dem Indos votin foh dem coolie elite with dacta degree with de West Bank transcripy 99% too...hey hey hey. Dem poor Indos doan mind de lie bout de sugar from de coolie elite...hey hey hey. Indo base voting 99% foh dem coolie elite wid west coast transcript...hey hey hey. No aile revenue cyan cure de white mout and berry berry dem getting when Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Jagdoe win. 

Hey cane juice man!  Our man has a PhD!  Suh mind yuh manners!  Did any other previous presidents had a PhD?

Hey hey hey...bai Forbes had nuff nuff road sense...look weh dat get abie. Hey hey hey...

Yea. Nuff nuff road sense. Mek all abie kech road run get away!

Baseman posted:
Labba posted:
Baseman posted:
Labba posted:

Hey hey hey...me wonda weh dem go sell de sugar? Hey hey hey...anyhow...Mr Badal is sayin true. Mr Badal buss dem rass foh win de Pegasus. Dem mek Marriott foh kill Peg and now Peg extend USD 100 mill. De man is wan hard core capitalis and doan need dem political loyal foh survive...hey hey hey. Anyhow Mr Badal can tell how much true he want...dis time is who pan tap. Blackman voting foh dem mattie 99% and now dem Indos votin foh dem coolie elite with dacta degree with de West Bank transcripy 99% too...hey hey hey. Dem poor Indos doan mind de lie bout de sugar from de coolie elite...hey hey hey. Indo base voting 99% foh dem coolie elite wid west coast transcript...hey hey hey. No aile revenue cyan cure de white mout and berry berry dem getting when Dr Dr Dr Dr Dr Jagdoe win. 

Hey cane juice man!  Our man has a PhD!  Suh mind yuh manners!  Did any other previous presidents had a PhD?

Hey hey hey...bai Forbes had nuff nuff road sense...look weh dat get abie. Hey hey hey...

Yea. Nuff nuff road sense. Mek all abie kech road run get away!

Hey hey hey...yea...he coulda talk...Forbsie was wan good talk man wid wan smooth tong...de man had nice accent and suh. But de man had scampish IQ. Forbsie use to think dat because he can scamp Cheddie dat he was bright...everybady run away and now labba squeeze cane juice...hey hey hey. 

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