During a recent community outreach in Bee Hive, Greenfield, East Coast Demerara, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha told residents that his Ministry, through the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, would be conducting a series of works in the area to ensure residents benefit from better drainage.
He made these commitments after residents at the meeting appealed for drains to be desilted. Farmers and residents also told the Minister that the koker needed to be desilted and appealed for the roads to be repaired.
Minister Mustapha reminded the meeting that since taking office in 2021, the Government has made several interventions to develop the sector.
“The President and the Vice-President see agriculture as the backbone of this country’s economy, so we have to develop agriculture in a smarter way, especially with the impacts of climate change. This is why this Government will continue to make the necessary investments to develop the sector. People who left the sector prior to August 2020 are once again returning because they see the interest and investment this government is placing in agriculture.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen an increase in production in all of the agriculture sub-sectors. We’ve seen this because of the investments. The investments we’ve been making to improve critical infrastructure among other things. Today I want to make a commitment; we will clean all the drains and canals in the area. Our officers will return in a few days to do an assessment. Once that assessment is done, we will see how best and how soon we can have those works done,” Minister Mustapha said.
The farmers also highlighted they experienced losses as a result of the recent flooding.
Minister Mustapha told them that officials from the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute would be returning to the community later in the week to form a farmers’ group. He also reminded them that President Dr. Mohammed Irfaan Ali recently announced a multi-billion dollar relief incentive for those who were severely affected.
“Teams from the Ministry were tasked with doing an assessment. Based on that assessment, the President recently announced the $7.6 billion relief package that will be given to the farmers who suffered losses.
“We are currently vetting the list and disbursement of those funds will commence soon so that farmers can get back to the land,” Minister Mustapha said.
The Minister also told residents that he would engage his colleague Ministers on the roads in the area. He also encouraged residents who still haven’t taken the COVID-19 vaccine to make every effort to do so that Guyana can achieve herd immunity.