Future of Sugar Industry being looked at as ACP meets in Guyana
The ongoing challenges facing the sugar industry are being addressed at the 11th special ministerial conference of the African Caribbean and pacific group of countries. The meeting which opened at the international convention center has brought together agriculture and trade ministers from the ACP countries who intend to look at how best they can all adapt to the new sugar arrangements under the economic partnership agreement.
That agreement was signed onto last year with the European union although many of the states had problems with many of its contents, saying that the impact on the sugar industry could trickle down to other sectors of the economy.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds declared the conference open and highlighted the need for the ACP member states to work closer with each other as they face similar challenges.
Guyana’s foreign affairs minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett in her address to the meeting said it comes at a time when the world is going through major economic setbacks, triggered by a global financial crisis. Guyana and the other acp countries are finding out that the epa could cause more trouble for their fragile economies.
The ACP’s ministerial spokesman on Sugar, satya veyash faugoo, the agro industry minister for Mauritius also spoke about the global financial problems, highlighting the need for greater understanding of the challenges.
The meeting will wrap up on Thursday and will also serve as the last ministerial conference of the acp before the sugar protocol with Europe ends officially.
Guyana in its efforts to deal with the fall out from the sugar price cuts has constructed the skeldon factory as part of a modernization plan. the enw factory is expected to become operational within a couple of months.