$5.4B spent in first six months of 2021 for drainage and irrigation upgrade
Government has injected $5.4 billion in the first six months of 2021 to ensure farmers nationwide receive improved and adequate drainage and irrigation services.
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, said without proper drainage and irrigation, agriculture productivity would be affected significantly, as most farming is done on the low coastal plain which lies below sea level.
He said his ministry’s determination towards developing the lives of farmers cannot be over emphasised, as the projects undertaken will address the effects of climatic conditions.
The 2021 Mid-Year Report shows that the sum spent for half of the year reflects 44 per cent of the budgetary allocation. The sum was expended to improve structures and infrastructure to communities and farms countrywide.
According to the report, the design of the new pump station at Cottage has been completed and stations at Adventure and Black Bush Polder are expected to be completed in the second half of the year.
A water harvesting reservoir was completed in Quiko, Region Nine, while the reservoir at Sawariwau was partially completed due to delays caused by the floods. Two excavators and a pontoon are expected to desilt channels in the Pomeroon river by year- end.
Several residents of Unity, Lowland, Nabaclis, Victoria, Hope and Golden Grove on the East Coast of Demerara have benefitted from extensive drainage upgrades. Major drainage and irrigation work was also done at West Watooka, Region 10 along with close to 100 communities along the Corentyne Coast, Region Six.
Additionally, about $2 million was spent on desilting the outfall at Somerset on the Essequibo Coast. The channel services the Somerset main canal and the Tapakuma Lake.
Minister Mustapha promises significant improvements in water resources management to allow for greater efficiency in the drainage and irrigation system.
“We will equip the Water Quality Laboratory at the Hydrometeorological Service to strengthen its water quality monitoring. The procuring of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler will equip the Hydrometeorological Service to conduct river profiling.
“This is a significant investment towards not only hydropower development, but also towards ensuring that Guyana maximises the opportunities that its Blue Economy presents,” the Minister underscored.
The Blue Economy refers to the exploitation, preservation and regeneration of the marine environment.
The Agriculture Ministry will continue to collaborate with stakeholders to fulfil its vision to be the agriculture powerhouse in this part of the world.