EU in cooperation with NIRAS determines the best operational model for transitioning redundant GUYSUCO employees into independent, sustainable farmers.
Guyana, country located in the north-eastern corner of South America is well known by its sugar industry. The Guyana Sugar Industry extends over 50,000 ha along the Atlantic Coast of Guyana being the largest employer within the country. However, due to big operating losses, GuySuCo needs to be reorganized which will result in approximately 2000 people being made redundant who then need to find new jobs.
One way to acquire a new income is for the employees to become farmers. NIRAS is working closely with GuySuCo-colleagues in a study of the best way to transition ex-GuySuCo employees into self-sufficient farmers.
Proposed solutions include identification of the employees who might be interested in taking up the opportunity to become farmers. Simple but effective. Employees who choose to take the opportunity are enrolled in a training process and provided with ongoing extension support.
In the first phase of the project, NIRAS team has carried out Farmer Trainers Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshops which were directly targeted to trainees' needs. The trainings were facilitated in a way to help the trainees to learn new knowledge and skills that they will be able to implement in their work practice.
The trainers who have already been trained are very enthusiastic. As one of them said in the feedback:
“I decided to wait, hardly anticipating that the EU and our friends from NIRAS would come to my rescue. Today I am grateful for their assurance that the Corporation now has a wider selection of Lead Trainers than I could have hoped for. I look forward to utilising my skills in the not too distant future.”
This project is currently being implemented by the EU FWC Unit and is expected to end in June 2018, when the full outreach of the assignment will be measured.
NIRAS team meets locals who will be farmers.