Rice farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) can look forward to improvements in the current dam maintenance programme with the addition of a brand-new motor grader to the region’s fleet of machinery.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha commissioned the grader on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, at the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority’s (NDIA) regional office in Anna Regina on the Essequibo Coast.
The $24 million grader forms part of the NDIA’s 2022 capital expenditure programme.
While offering remarks, Minister Mustapha said that the government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, has been expending substantial sums to ensure critical infrastructure are upkept.
“Deplorable dams is one of the most burning issues farmers on the Essequibo Coast are faced with. The government recognized this and this is why since we assumed office, we’ve been making large budgetary allocations in this region. That shows the government’s commitment to the development of this region. We know agriculture plays a major role in the region’s development. For us to develop agriculture in this region, we have to develop and create the necessary infrastructure so that farmers can produce. If we are to achieve food security, we have to continue to make these critical interventions,” Minister Mustapha explained.
Stressing the need for collaborative efforts between the government and farmers to further develop Guyana’s agriculture sector, Minister Mustapha said the country’s food security is dependent on a solid agriculture sector.
“Although we are an emerging oil and gas nation, we have to ensure we develop our agriculture sector. A lot of money will be made from oil and gas, yes, but those resources will not last forever. This is why we have to develop our productive sectors,” the minister added.
While there, Minister Mustapha also met with farmers to listen to some of their concerns. Farmers who opted to speak said that the access dams were indeed a cause for concern. They however noted that the introduction of the grader will assist in rehabilitation works.
Two weeks ago, Minister Mustapha commissioned another grader at Tarlogie in Region Six.