Farmers and residents of Dartmouth, Danielstown, Queenstown, Good Hope and other communities in Region Two are benefitting from several agricultural undertakings which include the dredging of the Pomeroon River’s mouth, farming inputs, and drainage works.
Over the weekend, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, hosted community meetings at Canal, Heath Field, Hackney, and Charity in the lower Pomeroon area.
The agriculture minister noted that the current bed and drain programme which is in its first phase, along with the ongoing dredging works of the Pomeroon’s river mouth will benefit about 543 farmers.
“We will continue to ensure that we develop the infrastructure so that you can have the kind of infrastructure that you can invest in…We will continue to make investments,” he said.
The dredging Pomeroon River’s mouth which is being carried out at $560 million will benefit the farming communities in the Pomeroon region.
It is anticipated to reduce flooding which is a significant problem for the region’s farmers.
Due to excessive siltation at the river’s mouth, Pomeroon farmers have suffered from poor drainage for a long time.
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will be deploying a pontoon and two additional excavators to service the area, giving farmers greater access to irrigation and drainage.
With the commencement of the distribution of the $850 million fertiliser assistance programme, farmers have been receiving vouchers to purchase manure to help boost crop and rice output.
Approximately 50 per cent of the fertiliser needed will be distributed to the farmers for the first crop.
“Last crop you would have received almost 75 per cent. Because of the expansion that we have, we had to take it back to 50 per cent…,” he further explained to the farmers.
Farmers have also benefitted from agricultural inputs including breeding bulls and black giant chickens, among others.
Some 7,000 high-yielding coconut seedlings will be provided shortly to about 100 coconut farmers in the Pomeroon region to enhance production.
Minister Mustapha emphasised that farmers can maximise other opportunities in the sector including the production of brackish water shrimp and vannamei prawns.
To expand honey production, three specialists from Cuba arrived in Guyana recently to work with residents countrywide to develop apiculture.
“So that Guyana can be a main exporter of honey…So, for those on the Essequibo coast who are interested in honey production, we will work with those groups. Those are new things because we were doing honey in a very subsistence way,” he added.
Region Two, he said, is slated for massive development which will boost economic growth there.