Farm to market woes to soon be over for Berbice River farmers

The difficulties faced by hundreds of farmers along the Berbice River in getting their produce from farm to market will soon be a thing of the past, as government is arranging to have a vessel which services the route to also assist them.

Minister of Public Works Bishop Juan Edghill

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill who has responsibility for the Transport and Harbours Department, made the announcement recently during a visit to New Amsterdam.   

He said a new vessel is expected to arrive in Guyana in October to replace the current boat servicing the North-West District. The old vessel will be used for farmers along the Berbice River.  

Since taking office, the PPP/C Government has been investing heavily in the agriculture sector through budgetary allocations and emergency interventions.

cash crops

“Once that vessel arrives in Guyana either the MV Barima or the MV Kimbia which services that corridor right now, could come to the Berbice River … so, later this year we can very well see a dedicated vessel returning to the Berbice River to provide a service to our farmers,” the minister stated.

With a vessel servicing the Berbice River, farmers will save time and money.

Minister Edghill said talks are underway to find a solution to the hardships faced by farmers. The intention, he said, is to have one of the boats that provide service to school children and old age pensioners from Region Five and Six, transport farmers’ produce in small amounts on weekends.

Meanwhile, government is prepared to spend an estimated $267 million to rehabilitate approximately 25 kilometres of road. This will be executed through the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We are building a road from Ituni to Tacama, so when we are able to complete that road from Ituni to Tacama, a lot of people would be able to move their produce to Tacama, and then they would be able to come by way of trucks, come out at Ituni, into Linden and you are all the way to your market,” the minister explained.

Government has left no stone unturned in its efforts to make Guyana an agricultural powerhouse. Guyana currently chairs CARICOM’s Special Ministerial Task Force on Food Production and Food Security, and leads CARICOM’s initiative to reduce the food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025.

Only recently, Guyana hosted its inaugural Agri-Investment Forum and Expo which attracted hundreds of investors from around the world and several CARICOM Heads of State. Dozens of Guyanese in the agricultural sector also attended the recent Agrofest 2022 in Barbados and wowed investors in attendance.