Region Six farmers to benefit from major infrastructure, other agricultural interventions

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Saturday reaffirmed government’s commitment to addressing the needs of farmers across the region to boost productivity. 

During several meetings with farmers of Crabwood Creek, Yakusari, Joanna, Mibikuri, and Lesbeholden, Region Six, Minister Mustapha said they stand to benefit from various initiatives to further enhance the sector. 

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during the meeting at Mibikuri, Region Six

Minister Mustapha said two pumping stations will be constructed in Black Bush Polder this year to the tune of $1.1 billion. One will be built for irrigation while the other will be utilised for drainage purposes.

A section of one of the meetings in Region Six

Some $50 million was approved on Friday for the maintenance of dams in the region.

Within a month, farmers of Crabwood Creek will be provided with a pump to alleviate the drainage issue there.

A team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will conduct an assessment of the drainage structure and canals to develop a programme to desilt all of the canals.

All of the cash crop farmers will receive fertilisers by next week from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).

One of the farmers raising a concern

Minister Mustapha alluded to the agro-processing facility that will be constructed in the area valued $25 million.

“We will find markets for your produce. Crabwood Creek will never be neglected under the PPP/C government. We will continue to improve Crabwood Creek,” he reassured.

More lands will be made available for cultivation. Almost 34,000 acres of lands will come under cultivation and more infrastructure projects will commence this year. 

The minister noted that several projects have been completed successfully in Crabwood Creek and more will done in the community. 

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha assisting a resident

Food security remains a high priority on government’s agenda which is seen in the budgetary allocations to build the necessary infrastructure to boost productivity. 

As Guyana continues to work aggressively to lower CARICOM’s food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025 to ensure food security, the minister said, “We have prioritised a number of commodities and produce that we are producing in the Caribbean. We are already at 57 per cent of the target that we have to achieve by 2025.”

Meanwhile, the farmers of Yakusari will benefit from the construction of a bridge within the area. 

A school bus will be procured which will bring major relief to the children there and reduce transportation expense.

One of the farmers raising a concern

Farmers were assured that NAREI will develop a programme to assist them to improve agricultural productivity.

Minister Mustapha said, “Let us decide what the farmers want to plant. We have to plant things to sustain ourselves…We will work with the rice farmers and the millers so that they can have better prices for their paddy.”

All of the cash crop farmers will receive fertilisers by next week.

The Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board (PTCCB) will conduct an assessment to test the level of chemicals in the canals. 

Two bridges will be constructed in Joanna. 

Farmers of Mibikuri will benefit from two shade houses in the coming months, which will benefit farmers across the country. 

Some of the farmers at one of the meetings in Region Six

In addition, the minister assured that the pothole issue in Lesbeholden will be addressed. 

A team from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) will return next week to meet with the livestock farmers to provide solutions to their concerns. 

The minister said engagements like these have led to improved performance in the sector. 

He noted that the PPP/C Government remains committed to fulfilling its manifesto’s promises to Guyanese. 

“We will continue to work with you…We will continue to develop your sector and ensure that we have food security,” Minister Mustapha reaffirmed.