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EU provides $30M boost to Guyana’s sugar industry

June 21, 2013

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The European Union has awarded Guyana $30 million to help boost the South American country’s struggling sugar industry.

The money will be used to buy harvesting machines and lessen dependence on cane cutters, many of whom have abandoned fields to work in the country’s booming gold mining business.

The announcement comes just days after the state-owned Guyana Sugar Corporation reported its lowest ever first crop production of 48,000 tons (43,500 metric tons), 20,000 tons (18,100 metric tons) less than projected.

The company has blamed serious labor shortages, bad weather, mounting debt and management problems for the decrease in production.

The deal was signed late Thursday.

Sugar generates about 20 percent of Guyana’s gross domestic product, and the industry is the country’s largest employer.

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