Agri. Ministry gets $600M supplementary funding for NDIA – Financial Paper Number 2/2018 presented to Cabinet
DPI, GUYANA, Friday, May 11, 2018
The Ministry of Agriculture was today granted permission to utilise some $600Million dollars, to offset increased expenditure for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), arising from the transfer of drainage and irrigation responsibility formerly undertaken by the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo).
The $600Million is part of an over $2Billion supplementary provision on estimates requested by Finance Minister Winston Jordan, for the period January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018.
Under much contention by the Opposition, Agriculture Minister Noel Holder defended the request. He said since the government’s move to divest the four sugar estates, the maintenance of drainage and irrigation has now fallen under the purview of the NDIA. He explained that the sugar corporation has even signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the NDIA, concreting the move.
Although no longer under the purview of GUYSUCO, the four estates play a vital role in drainage and irrigation in both the agricultural and residential areas. “We are talking here about a work in progress,” Minister Holder stated.
According to the Minister, the NDIA will be responsible for 26 additional drainage pump stations with 55 pumps, three additional pump stations with eight pumps, and the maintenance of 4, 560 additional miles of drainage and irrigation canals along with 1000 miles of access dams and 760 bridges among others.
“So here it is, the NDIA has been asked to assume this responsibility, which it has done. And as you can see the rains have started and there are no problems,” the minister said.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two entities will see the NDIA contracting GuySuCo to maintain middle-walks and canals, rebuilding access dams among other things. The NDIA will supervise the works, while GuySuCo will provide the manpower for the work. Additionally, GuySuCo will provide a coordinating officer at each estate to inspect and verify the work.
By: Alexis Rodney.