Close to $1B in flood relief grants distributed to Region Six farmers
Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, on Sunday, spearheaded the distribution of the Government’s flood relief cash grants at several locations in East Berbice – Corentyne (Region Six).
Addressing beneficiaries at Auchlyne, Lesbeholden, Yakusari, Johanna and Mibicuri, Minister Mustapha said the Government will continue to make investments in the agriculture sector and more importantly, in the citizens.
“The Government is trying to help us, there were many times in this country when we had flood in 2017/2018 and nobody received anything. Now we are receiving something from the Government and let me be very frank with you all, since we got into Government, we are trying our utmost to help the people of our country” the Minister said.
Minister Mustapha said the grant is not a compensation for the losses the farmers faced during the floods, but an investment made by the Government to ensure that they are able to resume farming as quickly as possible.
“The Government has saw it fit that we try to get the farmers back as early as possible, as quickly as possible to the lands.”
The Agriculture Minister noted that the grants are being distributed in a non-discriminatory way.
He outlined several measures which are aimed at putting back billions of dollars into the pockets of ordinary Guyanese. Among these are the ‘Because We Care’ cash grant which saw every child in the public school system benefitting from $19,000; and the COVID-19 $25,000 cash grant.
Meanwhile, the Minister reassured farmers whose names were not on the list to receive their cheques on Sunday, that special effort will be made to ensure that they are able to receive their grants within a week or two weeks.
The Minister added that Government will embark on a number of flood mitigation initiatives.
“The President has announced that in the three regions, Region Three, Region Five and Region Six, that we will build a canal like the Hope Canal so that places like Black Bush Polder will not be affected with the severe flooding that you had in the last few months that you had… So, all these are the investments that we are making to the people of our country, we want to develop the Agricultural sector,” Minister Mustapha said.
Meanwhile, a number of beneficiaries expressed their gratitude to the Government for the initiative.
Ronald Jones, a livestock farmer told DPI that he faced severe losses due to the flood and that he was grateful for the assistance.
“I feel proud about it because I glad that I gone get back something that I lost… “I must say thanks to the government because it wasn’t for him, we couldn’t of get back something”Jones said.
Deochand Bookie, a rice farmer, said “I plant 200 acres in land and me lost like 70 acres.”
Distribution of the grants will continue in the new week.