$110 M amphibious excavator commissioned in Region Two

Less than three weeks after commissioning a similar piece of equipment in Region Five, Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, on Wednesday, commissioned a second amphibious excavator in Tapakuma Village, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha

The amphibious excavator was procured by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) for approximately $110 million and will be used to execute critical drainage works across the region.

While delivering remarks at the exercise, Minister Mustapha said that the excavator represents another fulfilled promise made by the government to the people of Region Two.

“This piece of equipment represents another fulfilled promise made to the farmers of this region. When we procured these amphibious excavators, we decided to send one to this region because we know there are times when operators find it difficult to clear clogged canals. This amphibious excavator will help with clearing those canals so that farmers can benefit from sufficient irrigation water on their farms. Operators will not have to use matting anymore because this excavator can operate in those canals. When we went to the elections, we made a number of promises to the people of this country. We made those commitments with the intention of delivering every promise in the five-year term, and today, in just under four years, we’ve delivered over 95% of those promises,” the minister explained.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha along with other regional and Ministry of Agriculture officials during the commissioning

He also said that the region now has twenty pieces of equipment to assist farmers with executing critical drainage and irrigation works.

 “In 2015, the last year of the PPP/C government before we came out of office, this region had twelve pieces of equipment. Today, it has twenty pieces. In less than four years we’ve seen it increase. During the period from 2015 to 2020, no additional equipment was sent to this region. These pieces of equipment are being used to help farmers,” he added.

Minister Mustapha also disclosed that farmers in Region Two were able to cultivate some 32,000 acres of rice for the last crop despite experiencing issues with irrigation due to prolonged El Nino conditions.

The newly commissioned amphibious excavator

“Although we had an extended dry season, we were still able to cultivate approximately 32,000 acres of rice with an increase in yields in this region. We are hoping with the intended rainfall and the pumps working, farmers can have maximum production. Our officers will be working with you to increase the acreage from 32,000 to 34,000 so that you can have maximum production for this crop,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha also disclosed that a management committee will be established to ensure the newly procured excavator is used efficiently.

He also said told farmers present that Guyana’s agriculture sector has experienced a revolution since 2020 as farmers are now receiving support to expand and diversify their production. He also said that, for this year, the ministry will be expending approximately $97 billion to develop Guyana’s agriculture sector.