Farmers laud Government’s intervention at MMA/ADA Scheme

– almost 90 per cent of drainage works completed

Several farmers of Region Five are lauding the PPP/C Government for its major intervention at the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA/ADA).

In August last, the Government had approved some $98 million for the Authority to conduct emergency infrastructural works.

Cultivating over 90 acres of lands, Rice Farmer, Mr. Naresh Bissoon said farmers were faced with major challenges before the PPP/C Government came to their rescue.

Rice Farmer, Mr. Naresh Bissoon

“All them trench did block up bad. We couldn’t get proper drainage. Since this new Government come in, they clean out all the trench and make up them dam. They did enough things,” Mr. Bissoon told DPI during a recent visit to Onverwagt, Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five).

Another farmer, Mr. Virjanand Chaman remembers spending long hours in the “backdam” to help free vehicles that were stuck on the dam due to its deplorable condition.

Rice Farmer, Mr. Virjanand Chaman

Mr. Chaman said he is happy that he can now meet home safely and on time after a hard day’s work.

“Sometimes you leave home 4 o’clock in the morning to go to work and sometimes you reach home 6 o’clock in the afternoon or sometimes 9 o’clock in the night. Because most of the time the vehicle would be stuck on the dam. Now look how early we going home now, we can be with our family,” Mr. Chaman said.

Mr. Philbert Rampersaud shared similar sentiments, noting that “for quite some while the maintenance in the area was lapsing.”

Rice Farmer, Mr. Philbert Rampersaud

“The Hymac came and clean this canal here. As you can see the bush is very small. Along here used to be very high bushes. So, they clean down the bushes and canal and right now this is being maintained,” Mr. Rampersaud said on the way to his farm.

Currently, the MMA-ADA is clearing the main canal which runs to the conservancy and is about 30 miles long and has a network of smaller canals throughout its length.

Engineer, Mr. Mahendranaught Ramjit said the ongoing project will ensure farmers have adequate water supply for the current crop. He explained that some 96,000 acres of rice were safe following the intervention by the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha.

MMA-ADA Engineer, Mr. Mahendranaught Ramjit

“One hundred per cent of the drains and canals were clogged, farmers were not receiving any form of irrigation neither drainage, so we would have lost all those crops on the ground,” Mr. Ramjit told DPI.

Cabinet had first approved $90 million which facilitated major cleaning of channels throughout the Mahaicony, Mahaica and Abary areas. An additional $8 million was approved to facilitate minor works to several bridges and other projects.

“At last year-end, we cleared approximately 376 miles for drains and canals in Abary/Berbice, 80 miles in Mahaicony-Abary, and another 155 miles in the Mahaica-Mahaicony area. We have achieved almost 90 per cent of our drainage and canal rehabilitation project.”

A section of the canal at the MMA-ADA Scheme being cleared

MMA-ADA’s General Manager, Mr. Curbette Victorine said the immediate response by the Agriculture Minister shows Government’s commitment to achieve its manifesto promises.