GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Officials say Guyana's sugar producers have missed this year's projections by 56,000 metric tons as they prepare to sell off or shutter industry facilities.
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Agriculture Minister Noel Holder said Saturday that the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation's production will total 183,000 metric tons.
That's in keeping with a decades-long production decline from a peak of about 320,000 metric tons in the late 1980s. The industry remains Guyana's largest employer and most important foreign exchange earner after gold.
Holder said the corporation is carrying $500 million in debt and needs to be reorganized. He said the government wants to sell the $200 million Skeldon Estate that has not worked properly since being built five years ago. Officials say three of seven sugar facilities will be sold off or shuttered.