President’s College farm to benefit from $44.3M CDF fund grant

Under the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) President’s College this year will benefit from the construction of a shade house and the upgrade of its farm access roads. The $44.3M project is aimed at promoting and developing climate resilient agriculture programmes in schools.

This announcement was made by Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder while commissioning the $335M Hostelling Pump Station on Friday.

“Among the works to be completed, President College will also benefit from the construction of perimeter fencing, the establishment of 11 acres of passion fruit, an orchard, beans and 15 acres of pasture with corresponding irrigation systems, Holder stated.

In addition, the Agriculture Sector Development Unit (ASDU) will also be purchasing heavy duty equipment to facilitate the works at the college.

Chief Technical Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. George Jervis in an invited comment said that the project is only a fraction of the works being spearheaded by Unit to not only bring the much-needed relief to farmers’ countrywide but to ensure farmers return to the land.

“For 2018, we embarked on a number of projects in villages such as Ithaca- Region 5, Buxton and Triumph and Mocha in Region 4.  Already for this year, we have continued on the momentum which has seen a number of drainage and irrigation canals and intake structures constructed,” Jervis added.

The purchase by the ASDU will include excavators, bulldozers, tractors, and other key farming implements. The equipment are expected to boost the NDIA’s drainage and irrigation capabilities. Currently, the NDIA has responsibilities for critical drainage and irrigation channels in and outside of the capital city. This year the authority was awarded a budgetary allocation of $7.5B several works are to be undertaken this year, with $30m alone toward rehabilitation works to reduce the instances of flooding.

The NDIA currently directly oversees the operation of 134 drainage pumps in Guyana and this year, the authority will add 10 new fixed pumps, 3 new mobile pumps and rehabilitate 8 pump stations to the D&I network. This will benefit approximately 39,000 acres of rice and cash crop cultivation, and cattle, in addition to the close by villages.

The NDIA will build on the works completed by the RAID Project by seeking to employ members of the existing Cooperatives and the NDC for the Maintenance of the canals, drains and access dams within the four project areas.