Berbice must jump out of its ‘comfort zone’ in contemplating life beyond sugar - Gaskin
Amidst sustained expressions of concern over the anticipated impact of the closure of several of GuySuCo’s sugar estates in Berbice, Business Minister Dominic Gaskin used the occasion of last Friday’s 2017 Berbice Expo and Trade Fair to seek to assure the region with the heaviest dependence on the sugar industry that the transition from the crop that has been at the heart of the Guyana economy will see the creation of new opportunities for the region.
Having now come to terms with the inevitability of the significant diversification from sugar and the consequential loss of jobs, government is seeking to allay fears of an apocalyptic economic outcome that will impact negatively on both businesses and income-earning households in Region Six. There is evidence, however, that allaying the deep-seated concerns amongst Berbician businessmen and residents whose livelihoods depend directly on sugar will be a difficult task.
When Stabroek Business travelled to Berbice just under a week ago to meet with Central Corentyne Chamber of Commerce President Mohamed Raffik and to ‘take the temperature’ in the business community regarding the likely fate of GuySuCo, the general preoccupation with what is now regarded as the imminent winding up of the sugar industry was
Concerns over life after sugar did not appear to diminish the enthusiasm of Berbicians for the annual Expo.
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin