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Wales Estate was “economic nightmare”; Gov’t says no one will be in jeopardy

State Minister Joseph Harmon has described the situation that the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) was faced with as an “economic nightmare” even while assurances were being given that stakeholders would not be jeopardized.

Harmon at a post cabinet press conference on Wednesday defended the decision by GuySuCo’s management to close the estate and the Government’s support of the said plan.

The State Minister was pellucid that the decision to close did not come as a result of any of the recommendations from the recently concluded GuySuCo Commission of Inquiry.

“The decision with respect to Wales estate were contained in GuySuCo’s budget and contained in GuySuCo’s action plan… it does not bear any specific relationship to the Commission of Inquiry,” he stated.”

This in fact has been a source of criticism for the Government with Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo questioning the reality of the recommendations contained the COI report.

"Right now this government has moved away from the commission of Inquiry report. It has rubbished the entire report,” Jagdeo noted on Thursday.

But Harmon was adamant that it will lead to the system being more efficient and that Wales Estate “became an economic nightmare to really continue to do the things that we used to do.”

Asked whether the Government would be willing to consult with the Opposition on the issue Harmon responded in the positive but stated that any engagement must not be a political charade.

He said that thus far, government has “received no indication from the Opposition Leader or any member of the Opposition that they wanted to discuss this matter.”

Further quizzed about the possibility of a reversal of the decision, he pointed out that GuySuCo and the Agriculture Minister has made out a “compelling case” in favour of the closure of the estate.

Meanwhile Agriculture Minister Noel Holder indicated that Uitvlugt was a more modern factory and would work in favour of the cane farmers and GuySuCo.

“None of the farmers will be in jeopardy…We are trying to see if we can make internal water arrangements so it can move that way…we have one year to put a new arrangement is not happening…apart from not replanting the canes, nothing else is happening to jeopardize the people,” said Holder.

He stated that there have been industry-wide adjustments to increase efficiency and these will continue.


  • rudeo

    Wasn’t it Holder who caused the collapse of the Livestock Division and the closure of the Georgetown Milk Plant?

  • Emile_Mervin

    Harmon and Holder,

    We know GAWU is a PPP union. We know the CoI did not call for Wales to be put on the chopping block. And we know the coalition has been stumbling from one calamitous method of doing things to the next.

    How can you guys not see the common sense approach in engaging GAWU first in this decision by way of a meeting so that there would be a joint announcement about both the pending closure and steps to mitigate the impact on workers and the community? Jagdeo shut down LBI in 20th and sugar workers there cussed out GAWU, but they all vote as one at the end of the day. You guys have to be smarter than this.

    Now you have to hold a damage control press conference to defend a decision that could have been front ally address with GAWU, even pointing out that everyone knew since 2008 Wales was a money lower and a drag.


    • Col123

      Emile…A waste of time for this government to engage with GAWU on this matter. The lines are drawn. It does not matter how things are done in this administration. It will be seen for what it is… an Ethnic Unity Govt…what ever that is!.You have stated that those “dunces” will “still vote PPP”…their racist nature…Harmon and Holder are doing the best they can. What is there to mitigate in that community? The damage is done and they knew it was coming.How many protestors have you seen at Wales…or any where for that matter?

      • Emile_Mervin

        As long as you keep an interest in politics, you will learn that in politics is a combination of various aspects of life, that appeal to both our emotional and rational sides. As a politician, you have to know when to be emotional and when to be rational or when to let your decisions be guided by your rational and not the emotional side. If you don’t get this point, then you won’t get the point of my original blog.

        • Col123

          Emile: You have a way of pivoting your points upon any response to your blog. That is a good skill.The point in your blog is that you have high expectations of Mr Harmon’s and Mr Holder’s ability to be politicians…Mr Harmon is old school military. What “damage control” are you talking about? . I will take it a step further to say that even our President appears to lack political fortitude. They have total control in governing our country…Just govern it and meet the challenges at least 20% of the way. Admittedly, I am not a politician, but I am comfortable in communicating with others and have the ability of being fair minded and be precise about my intent. Ambiguity is not in my DNA.