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Guyana fires director, board of state-owned sugar company

Published:Friday | June 5, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Guyana's new government has fired the director of the Caribbean trade bloc's largest sugar-exporting company and ordered its board to resign amid financial concerns.

Authorities will launch an official probe into the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation after its director said it has only enough money to pay its security guards, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said in a statement late Wednesday.

"Over the years, GuysuCo has been sinking further into debt due to ineffective operations both at the financial and production levels," he said.

An interim committee will soon be appointed to oversee the company for at least six months, according to Holder.

Holder is part of a new administration taking shape under President David Granger, a retired army general who took office in May and ended a 23-year reign by the People's Progressive Party.

Guyana Sugar Corporation is among a handful of Caribbean companies still exporting raw sugar to Europe, but it has struggled in the past 20 years to meet its annual quota. Officials have blamed a drop in production on changing weather patterns, labour shortages, strikes, falling international sugar prices and an increase in production costs.

Last year, the government of the South American country injected $30 million into the company.