US$5B ‘agri’ company sets sights on Guyana as India aims to help Guyana develop local agricultural sector

US$5B ‘agri’ company sets sights on Guyana as India aims to help Guyana develop local agricultural sector


By Vishani Ragobeer |March 29, 2021 | Guyana Chronicle

UNITED Phosphorus Limited (UPL), a US$5 billion Indian multinational company that manufactures and markets agrochemicals, other chemicals and crop protection solutions, has set its sights on Guyana’s growing agricultural sector, according to Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr. K. J. Srinivasa.

“They (UPL) are now interested in entering into Guyana because they are offering fertilisers, pesticides, etcetera and they believe that Guyana’s agricultural story will go higher and higher,” the High Commissioner told this newspaper during a recent interview.

According to UPL’s website, it is the fifth largest agrochemical company in the world and a global leader in global food systems. It was also noted that the company is present in about 138 countries. Dr. Srinivasa highlighted that the company has already signalled its interest in investing in Guyana and as such, the High Commission has been connecting the company with the relevant government officials.

The company’s interest, he said, comes amid its expectation that Guyana’s agricultural development will lead to the increased need for contract funding.

“They will do the bidding because they are a US$5B company and as such, everything is above board… and we are very much willing to help all these companies,” the High Commissioner noted.

The company, via its website, also noted that it has market access to 90 per cent of the world’s food basket and is focussed on ushering growth and progress for the complete agricultural value chain, including growers, distributors, suppliers and innovation partners. Meanwhile, the High Commissioner indicated that the South-Asian country is willing to help Guyana transform its agricultural sector overall. He indicated that a number of industry experts from India will be coming to Guyana to help in various agriculture fields.


In the sugar industry, he noted that requests have been made for two experts to come to Guyana and work alongside the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the Ministry of Agriculture on the overall reforms that are needed locally.

“We are also working very closely and trying to encourage Indian private sector companies to come and explore the opportunity to invest in the Guyanese sugar factories,” the High Commissioner said, adding: “So far there has been a very good interest and even (now), there are more people coming in.”

In India, he noted that all of the sugar companies are privately owned. This, he reasoned, means that the very structure in which the India sugar sector operates is different from the Guyanese model. Even so, he highlighted that there are some areas where India’s successes can be drawn from to develop Guyana’s potential.


The production of ethanol is one such area. In October last year, Chief Executive Officer of GuySuCo, Sasenarine Singh, indicated that the turnaround plan for the company includes different options to ensure feasibility; the production of ethanol is one such option.

“We are willing to work with GuySuCo if they need us to help them get equipment and machinery for the ethanol plants. We are willing because India is home to one of the biggest suppliers of ethanol equipment which supplies 10 percent of the world’s ethanol equipment.,” the High Commissioner underscored.

He also related that the government has already signalled an interest in engaging India on how ethanol production can be kick-started here in Guyana. Upon assuming office last August, the Guyana Government tapped into India’s offer of assistance to help revitalise the local sugar industry and restore the estates to full operation with the help of expertise in both factory operation and field cultivation.

In 2017, the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition Government announced the closure of several sugar estates across the country; the move saw four sugar estates being closed, and 7,000 sugar workers losing their jobs.

However, in 2020, the corporation was allocated a sum of $7 billion. A sum of $3 billion was used to recapitalise the Rose Hall, Skeldon, and Enmore sugar estates while the remaining $4 billion was allocated to support rehabilitation works at the Uitvlugt, Blairmont and Albion sugar estates.

The government has also begun rehiring sugar workers who were laid off following the closure of sugar estates At present, some 8,200 persons are employed in the sugar industry. In this year’s budget, GuySuCo was allocated some $2B for capital works to be carried out at the various sugar estates across the country.

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