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The cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation on Monday signed a contract totalling $356,500,000 with Guyana Tractor and Equipment Limited for the supply and delivery of a range of field equipment.
The contract comes at a time when the PPP/C government continues to prop-up the ailing industry that has not been making any profits.
According to a Department of Public Information release, the contract sum caters for nine long reach (track type) hydraulic excavators; one short reach (track type) hydraulic excavator, and one short reach (wheel type) hydraulic excavator. The equipment is required for the rehabilitation of the drainage and irrigation channels in all of GuySuCo’s estates, including the channels that run through residential communities, DPI reported.
The works will also include the rebuilding of the surrounding perimeter dam of the Albion Estate. Furthermore, the excavators would also be used for the maintenance of infrastructure such as dams, bridges and aqueducts, which form part of the essential requirement for the field operations.
Meanwhile, on Monday also several agencies that fall within the purview of the Ministry of Agriculture signed contracts for the supply of key pieces of equipment, and to provide retrofitting and rehabilitation services for facilities valued over $474 million.
Pacific Service System signed a contract valued $20,902,924 for the retrofitting and rehabilitation of the New Guyana Marketing Corporation’s (New GMC) packaging facility in Parika, Region Three. The project is likely to commence next Monday and is expected to be completed in three months.
The New GMC also signed a contract with 3D Construction, valued $5,542,776, to retrofit the peanut butter processing facility in St. Ignatius, Region Nine. A $3,920,000 contract was also signed with Umami for the supply and delivery of preservatives.
A $4,300,889 contract was also signed with Meditron for the construction of a solar dryer at the GMC facility; with Grimmond Electrical and Transportation Services totalling $2,563,292; the retrofitting of the processing facility at Hope Coconut Industries Limited with Triple ‘A’ Construction Services and Supplies, valued $8,947,400, and the retrofitting of the packaging and processing facility located at Watooka, Region Ten totalling $9,602,274.
The Guyana Rice Development Board also signed a contract with JR Engineering Solutions totalling $12,104,206 for the rehabilitation of the soil laboratory at the Burma Rice Research Station. On completion, this facility will enable researchers to provide sound recommendations to farmers on the type and quantity of fertilisers needed for their crop. This is in keeping with the Ministry’s goal to double rice production and productivity by 2025.
The Hydromet Department signed two contracts with Rushmar Business Enterprise and General Services totalling $23,535200 for transportation services.
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority signed two contracts: a contract valued $6,353,000, with Innovative Engineering Consultancy Services, for the provision of consultancy services for the supervision of the Onverwagt Farm to Market Road in Region Five.
The second contract, valued $20,613,050, was signed with Eron Lall Engineering Works for the construction of living quarters at Lama within the East Demerara Water Conservancy.
During the signing, Minister Zulfikar Mustapha MP, said the contracts were inked for major projects that will help to sustainably develop the sector over the years.
“We are advancing in our work programme because we are approaching the end of 2021. In this sector, we have been seeing a lot of activities being undertaken to advance the sector and a lot of people are once again involved in agriculture in Guyana. This is why those companies that are signing contracts must provide efficient services in a timely manner.”
As regards GuySuCo, Minister Mustapha said the equipment are critical to the ensure the agencies fulfil their mandate.
“When I spoke at this year’s budget debate, I spoke about the importance of these and other equipment as we move towards the reopening of the closed estates and the recapitalisation of GuySuCo.”
The Minister, while speaking about the contracts inked for rehabilitation and retrofitting of the agro-processing facilities, said the Government, since taking office, has focused on improving and expanding farmers’ productivity.
“As a Government, we are putting a lot of effort and emphasis into agro-processing. We recognise the importance of building, rehabilitating, and retrofitting new and existing agro-processing facilities. We want our farmers to advance their style of production and move to a higher level. If we are going to tap into new markets in the Caribbean, then these types of facilities will be critical,” he said.
Minister Mustapha reiterated that in executing the works and providing the services and equipment, contractors are not only providing a service to the Ministry, but to the citizens of Guyana. As such, works and services should be done in a timely manner and according to the contract specifications.