Wednesday, April 20, 2011

$600 million aid package for cane farmers

Minister of Agriculture Mr. Robert Persaud yesterday announced a number of concessions that will bring relief to private cane farmers with the hope that they will increase their production and, as a result, the overall productivity of the sugar sector.
He made the announcements at a meeting between the ministry and officials of the Guyana Sugar Corporation and private cane farmers, who supply about 35 percent of the cane made into sugar across the country. The meeting took place yesterday at the ministry’s boardroom in Georgetown.
“We are talking about a very substantial package. It is close to $600 million going directly back to the cane farmers,” minister Persaud said. He added that there has been an increase in the production from the cane farmers.
Minister Persaud announced an increase of $5,000 per tonne on the price of cane supplied by the farmers. Further, he said that for the next crop, government would be providing half of the required fertiliser to the cane farmers as part of the menu of measures aimed at making life easier for the cane farmers and encouraging greater productivity for them. This intervention will come at a cost of $80 million.
The minister announced that GuySuCo has agreed to reduce its punt and machine charges by 10 percent and 25 percent each. Further, he said that the President agreed to the purchase of a number of five D-6 bulldozers and for this purpose, government has committed the sum of $250 million.
Persaud said, too, that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, GuySuCo and the Regional Authorities will coordinate the use of the heavy equipment in providing services to the farmers.

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