$1.5B for Uitvlugt Estate
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Manager of the Uitvlugt Estate Yudhisthira Mana (far right) and Agronomist Andrew Bourne (second from right) led the tour of GuySuCo officials and the media on Thursday
Manager of the Uitvlugt Estate Yudhisthira Mana (far right) and Agronomist Andrew Bourne (second from right) led the tour of GuySuCo officials and the media on Thursday

— half of estate to be leased to private farmers to produce cane for factory
–over 400 vacancies in GuySuCo’s Agri Department

WITH the hope of improving production and productivity, GuySuCo is investing $1.5B in the Uitvlugt Estate Improvement Programme (UEIP), and is privatising half of its plantation through a leasing process to private farmers to produce sugarcane for the Uitvlugt factory.
Uitvlugt Estate Manager, Yudhisthira Mana, during a press conference and tour of the estate on Thursday, said the company has set a production target of 20,178 tonnes of sugar for 2017 and is hoping to multiply its current production to achieve a targeted 40,000 tonnes of sugar by 2020.
Mana said, however, that for this year, only 7,000 tonnes of sugar has been produced so far from the Uitvlugt Estate and a larger production is expected in the second half.
But, he noted that the estate will not be able to meet its projected target of 20,178 tonnes of sugar for this year.
As part of GuySuCo’s divestment and diversification processes, Uitvlugt has been one of three estates selected to remain in sugar production but a shortage of human resources is hampering production.
Vacancies exist for some 406 employees in the Agriculture Department, which is the company’s largest department.
Mana said the production drive started in 2016 and rehabilitation works started as it was recognised that there is need for greater supply of sugar cane to the factory.
It has been decided that a three-fold approach will be taken with the estate utilising fully its 6005.9 hectares of land, leasing half of it to private farmers and sourcing additional sugar canes from farmers as far as Canals Number One and Two and La Grange on the West Bank Demerara (WBD).

Infrastructural works being done at GuySuCo’s Uitvlugt Sugar Factory on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) to relocate the cane gantry from Wales Sugar Factory, West Bank Demerara (WBD). (photo by Samuel Maughn)

“It was decided that we alone cannot do it and produce that 40,000 tonnes… so they’ll (private farmers) be given the opportunity to farm 3 000 of the 6 000 hectares, and further afield, those farmers who would have been supplying cane from the West Bank area to Wales, we asked them to come with us. Together, the team with 6005.9 here and 1750 hectares from those farmers across there, can give us a half million tonnes of cane and produce 40,000 tonnes of sugar.
“(Of) the 3 000 hectares, at this point in time, we have 750 already supplying canes to us. Last week Thursday we had 681 lease being handed out to them. We have 960 hectares at this point in time as we speak in consideration. There are those who would have shown their expression of interest coming on board, they are under review and I reckon that between another three (to) four weeks from now we are able to hand out those leases to them… leaving with us approximately just about 750 hectares for someone to show and come in,” Mana said.

The Uitvlugt lands alone are capable of producing 32,000 tonnes, while the additional 8,000 tonnes can be produced from cane supplied from the other farmers on West Bank Demerara – Canal Number One, Canal Number Two and LaGrange areas.
A document outlining plans for the estate’s improvement programme stated that the move is one to build stronger partnerships with cane farmers, as Uitvlugt progressively improves its production with the aim of increasing cultivation by 20 percent by December.
“Progress is being made on the rehabilitation of roads and infrastructure works to enable the delivery of canes from farmers on the West Bank of Demerara to the Uitvlugt factory. Uitvlugt factory is also being upgraded to ensure its reliability with increased reliability with increased cane supply… infrastructure works have commenced to relocate the cane gantry, weigh hopper, feeder table and cane carrier from Wales factory to Uitvlugt factory,” the estate manager said.

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