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The European Union, which this year set aside 18.8 million Euros under its budget support programme for the sugar industry, hopes that the money could be channeled into upgrading factories and boosting production.At least that’s the view of the outgoing Ambassador Geert Heikens, who will end a satisfactory stint in Guyana next week.Heikens said that the funding, to help Guyana bounce back from the EU’s cut of its preferential market price for sugar, is in the form of budget support and so the EU does not go around checking in what areas the money is spent.However, he told the media at a farewell press conference,NFL Jerseys China, yesterday, that the money could be spent fixing problems at the old sugar factories, and finding ways of boosting production.Starting in 2007, the EU began providing support to help the sugar industry with a 90 million Euros grant lasting until this year when a new three-year support programme was put in place. That new programme is worth 75 million Euros.Heikens said he hopes a significant portion of the money goes into the modernization of the sugar industry so that the country can have a competitive industry.But Heikens said that the EU does not have a remote control to steer the use of the funds.The funding comes as part of measures by the EU to support the country’s sugar industry after Europe ended its preferential trading agreement with Guyana and the rest of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries.Beginning in 2009,NFL Jerseys Outlet, the EU began buying sugar for less than before, and the Guyana government had estimated that this would result in an annual loss of $7 billion.The latest round of EU support is intended to help improve the efficiency and profitability of sugar cane and sugar production while reinforcing private cane farming.This week, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud accused the management of the Skeldon sugar factory of ‘monkeying around’. He said that he wants the factory to grind as it was built to.Bringing in foreign managers to manage the factory is still on the cards, but Persaud said it depends on GuySuCo to decide how this will go–whether to choose complete or partial management from outsiders.“The reality is that we need expertise in place to fix some of the nags, some of the issues that are complicating the problems at Skeldon.The Skeldon Factory, on which an estimated US$200 million was spent, continues to be a headache for the government desperate to prove that it is indeed the boon to not only the survival but also the viability of the local sugar industry.Last November,Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale, GAWU called for Skeldon factory to be closed down until the China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC),World Baseball Classic Jerseys, the entity, which constructed the factory,Wholesale China Jerseys, fixed the problems.The sugar industry directly sustains some 18,000 jobs, and when that is multiplied to include their families, it means that sugar supports a fifth of the country’s entire population. Sugar exports account for as much as 20 percent of the country’s annual revenue.The Corporation was targeting the end of this year to complete all land development and planting and expects to have in this period the 1.2 million tonnes of cane required by the new factory. Estate cultivation of sugarcane will have to grow to 9,Jerseys Cheap Wholesale,600 hectares.
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