$4.8B approved for Region Nine

farmers to receive planting materials by mid-February

The Committee of Supply on Wednesday approved $4.8 billion for improvements in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, on Wednesday said Region Nine will not be left out of the country’s development, as the budget allocates sums for agriculture development initiatives, upgrading of electrical systems, and health facilities and quarters, to name a few.

The Lethem Regional Hospital

He was speaking during the Consideration of Estimates in the Parliamentary Committee of Supply.

Meanwhile, in setting the record straight in relation to the agricultural challenges faced by the region, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, disclosed that farmers in all regions will receive their planting supplies by mid-February.

The agriculture minister said, “We did an analysis and a survey, and all the areas will receive their materials. Region nine is slated for massive development in the agriculture sector to make a contribution to food security in Guyana.”

He highlighted that there are three agro-processing facilities in the region to address these challenges faced by the farmers.

Minister Dharamlall also emphasised that investments in the agriculture sector match those injected in the other sectors.

“We have agencies of government that provide direct support [to the farmers] … This government does not operate in silos,” the minister told the committee.

Further, $530 million has been allocated for the construction of roads, bridges and culverts and the upgrading of electrical and water supply systems, as part of the public works programme for the region.

The local government minister said, “We’re building roads where roads were never built. That is the mark of our government. We are also repairing roads that were left dilapidated for many years.”

To improve access to health services in the region, the minister disclosed that two ambulances will be procured for the Lethem and Aishalton hospitals, as well as a lorry to assist in the distribution of drugs and medical supplies. Some $36 million has been allocated for this purpose.