Some $39 million will be used to carry out a series of drainage and irrigation works in East Berbice-Corentyne (Region Six), to boost agricultural production for farmers there.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, M.P meeting with farmers along the Corentyne coast on Saturday at the Auchlyne Primary School, said the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) and the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) will soon begin clearing the dams and cleaning drains.
Representatives of the Lancaster/Hogstye and Bloomfield/Whim Neighourbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) complained about impassable dams and overrun drains, making it difficult for farmers to access their farmlands.
Minister Mustapha assured farmers that the issue will be addressed and urged the NDCs to partner with the regional administration to create a work programme for the project.
“We cannot do everything at the same time, but if you can put it in order of priority, we will work with you to get it done. But I want to assure rice farmers because when it comes to time like this to reap your crop, you are normally anxious because you want the dams to be okay and you can come out and I agree with you,” he stated.
Moving forward, farmers will be required to assist in the maintenance of the canals as NDIA will soon publish a maintenance programme.
“We have to change the way we are doing things. We have to ensure that what we were doing 10 years ago that we cannot do it now because we have to do it more smartly,” Minister Mustapha added.
The agriculture minister reiterated government’s support to farmers in the region.