Buxton farmers to benefit from improved infrastructure, inputs to boost production

  • Agri. Minister commits to rehabilitating farm-to-market road

The Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Agriculture will soon commence rehabilitation work on a critical farm-to-market access road in Buxton Village on the East Coast of Demerara.

Minister Mustapha along with a team of officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and community representatives during the meeting.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha announced this during a meeting with residents and farmers on Tuesday at the Buxton PIC Building.

While farmers in the area said that there was a vested interest in agriculture and that the village has the potential to do more, they told the minister that farm access was an issue.

A section of the meeting

While responding to the concerns raised by the residents, Minister Mustapha said that the Ministry of Agriculture will rehabilitate the Buxton Middlewalk farm-to-market access road.

“We cannot do all of the farm-to-market roads now. This afternoon I’ll commit that the Government of Guyana through the Ministry of Agriculture will do the Buxton Middlewalk farm-to-market road. Those works will commence within a month. We’ll also give four mechanical tillers to be used by farmers from the Buxton/Friendship area,” he said.

Minister Mustapha while engaging farmers following the meeting in Buxton

One farmer said he was present at the last meeting that was held in the village with the Minister and a team from the Ministry of Agriculture and was encouraged to expand his cultivation. He noted however that he recently lost a substantial amount of bearing trees and permanent crops due to wildfires and sought the Minister’s assistance in restoring his farm.

A farmer from Buxton who suffered losses as a result of wildfires.

While responding to the farmer’s request, Minister Mustapha said that the Ministry through the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) will provide planting materials and other inputs to assist him with resuscitating his farm.

Minister Mustapha also told other farmers present that a team from NAREI will be meeting with them to develop a plan after which planting materials, fertilizers, and other inputs will be given to them free of cost.

Agriculture Minister, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha during a community walkabout with residents from Buxton

A village councilor from Buxton who was also present at the meeting told the minister that community drains were not being maintained. Her claims were however quickly dismissed by several farmers who also accused the councilor of having a political agenda.

Minister Mustapha said that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will continue to do drainage and irrigation work in the village to assist farmers. He also said that rehabilitation work will be done on the irrigation structure along the crown dam in the Buxton/Friendship catchment.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha while engaging residents from Buxton

“I know for a fact that we awarded contracts to have canals cleaned in this community. A group was also awarded a contract to maintain those canals. We’ll continue to put mechanisms in place to ensure persons from the community are engaged to do these works. You also said that you want the intake to be repaired. We’ll do it and we’ll also clear the dam that the farmers are talking about. That will cost us about $14 million and those works will commence within a week,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Mustapha also told cattle farmers present that a breeding bull will be given to the farmers to improve their stock and that a special committee will be set up to work with all classes of farmers in the area.