There are still viable cane farms that can increase the productivity of the industry.

Mr. Editor,

Few of today’s decision-makers, since the nationalization of the sugar industry, would remember the adoption of the law on the National Committee for Cane Cultivation (1965), the rules of the contract for cane producers (general conditions) and of the law on special funds for cane producers. It would be interesting to know when the documentation was last revised for its applicability to the current relationship between sugar cane producers and industry management. In this regard, few know that it was Booker Sugar Estates who deliberately created the first community of sugarcane growers – at Belle Vue in the vicinity of Wales Estate, West Bank, at Demerara in the 1950s. Fifty -seven sugar workers and their families were selected from all areas to establish a comprehensive housing program, with each lot of houses including a vegetable patch. A community center, with a playground, was a feature of the facility. Each farmer was given 15 acres of cane land, and arrangements were virtually made on Wales Estate to buy the cane and pay for the sugar produced from it – all for nearly a decade. before the aforementioned legislation. The latter, in fact, was the result of discussions between Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan and the chairman of the Bookers Group of Companies World, Sir Jock Campbell, a proclaimed socialist.

The Prime Minister, perhaps using the Belle Vue model, suggested that it be applied to the entire industry. As empathetic as he was, Campbell pointed out its economic implications and other shortcomings, especially given the industry’s commitments to the UK market at the time. Already the idea of ​​nationalization had mingled in the shade and the light of their conversations. Campbell procrastinated by pledging to establish a more comprehensive cane cultivation development program across the industry. The commitment to Dr Jagan has resulted in Booker Sugar Estates Limited and Demerara Company, as well as Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Canada establishing a G $ 3.7 million Cane Agriculture Development Fund , in accordance with previous legal provisions, which included the requirement for farmer groups to become legal persons, so that they could draw down from the Fund and repay, on the basis of the legal contract that had been agreed between the parties, and in which the formula for the price of sugar, produced by farmers, has been carefully applied. All these activities and transactions were overseen by a legally established national cane cultivation committee, made up of members of cane cultivation cooperatives and associated property managers.

Each estate was also to appoint a cane manager, who trained farmers and advised them on the farming practices required to ensure optimal cane yields. But more critical, were all the previous communication exercises necessary, to persuade individuals into a legal cooperative structure. Of course, at that time there was a flourishing government cooperative department whose district officers fully cooperated. The reason for this submission is to remind the parties concerned that there are still viable cane farms, for which both suppliers and buyers urgently need to review the fifty-seven year old legislation and management arrangements. related, with a view to these helping to increase the productivity of the industry as a whole. Fortunately, it is understood that a National Sugar Cane Committee currently exists.


EB John

Responsible for human resources management

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