GLDA continues to offer assistance to flood-affected farmers
- farmers receive additional veterinary services, supplementary feed
- assessments ongoing
As livestock farmers across the country continue to face challenges brought on by the ongoing flooding in several regions, the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) has intensified its efforts to assist with providing supplementary feed and medical services to livestock farmers.
Over the weekend, livestock officers attached to the GLDA visited several farmers from Abary and Mahaicony in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) to conduct phase two of their flood assessment exercise. As part of their flood-relief efforts, GLDA extension officers and veterinarians also distributed veterinary supplies to farmers who are currently affected by flooding.
Additionally, a number of cattle and small ruminant animals were treated during a house-to-house veterinary service exercise.
Livestock farmers from severely affected areas were forced to relocate their animals to higher grounds after floodwaters left their designated grazing areas inundated. Farmers have been finding it difficult to feed their animals due to pastures being flooded. Many farmers have also reported that some of their animals had died as a result of the flooding.
These reports prompted the intervention of Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha, who instructed the livestock authority to supply affected farmers with supplementary feed and molasses, in addition to house-to-house veterinary visits to administer treatment on a weekly basis.
Minister Mustapha said, in addition to supplying the supplementary feed, GLDA extension officers had also been advising farmers on how to correctly give feed to their animals.
“Access to these areas has been compromised given the rising floodwaters over the last few weeks. Savannahs are also submerged to farmers are finding it challenging to access the necessary feed and supplies for animals. I’ve since instructed the GLDA to commence house-to-house distribution of feed and other supplies so that those in need can benefit. Officers were also tasked with advising farmers on the correct way to use supplementary feed. This is to prevent health complications such as bloating and other metabolic issues. On Sunday last, farmers from the Abary area received 7280 lbs of mixed ration to feed their animals. Our vets have also been instructed to visit these farmers on a weekly basis to carry out checks and provide veterinary services as needed,” Minister Mustapha said.
GLDA began producing mixed ration feed at the Skeldon Estate several weeks ago to distribute to farmers as part of their flood-relief efforts.
The subject minister further stated that GLDA was instructed to offer transport services to farmers as most of their designated grazing areas in the savannahs have become inundated. So far, over 20,000 animals have been relocated to higher grounds in the frontlands.
Minister Mustapha disclosed that hundreds of animals remain stranded in the Abary and Kookrite Savannahs. Although these animals are considered wild, he said that efforts are still being made to relocate them.
“On my way to visit the spill weir in the Abary Conservancy last Saturday, I was able to get a first-hand look at flooded savannah in the Abary backland. Hundreds of animals are stranded in the flooded area. GLDA is trying to devise mechanisms to relocate these animals. The Deputy CEO would’ve informed me that the farmers were engaged on several occasions but indicated that the animals were wild and that they were not able to control them thus preventing us from transporting them to higher ground. Some of these animals have since died. Nevertheless, we are still trying to see how best we can have them moved. I’ve tasked the GLDA with working with the farmers to see what can be done,” Minister Mustapha said.
To date, farmers from Mahaica Creek, Abary, Big Baiaboo, Little Baiaboo, No. 10 Mahaica, Ithaca, Blairmont, Mahaicony Creek, and Black Bush Polder are among those who have received feed from GLDA.