Finance Minister sees positive economic prospects from Mocha RAID Programme

DPI, Guyana, Friday, February 1, 2019

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan today said the economic prospects are good for farmers in Mocha, East Bank Demerara who are part of the Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development (RAID) programme.

The $318.6 M Caribbean Development Fund (CDF) project is aimed at fostering additional growth in the agriculture sector.

Continuing a series of visits to communities financed by the RAID Programme, Minister Jordan today visited the East Bank Demerara village of Mocha to deliver some plants to farmers and observe the progress made on the project.

“I am very pleased with the progress made so far, and I am very pleased to have met a number of the farmers and the villagers. We are going to see to what extent in this budget, we can assist them.”

Minister Jordan said the government wants to see the project replicated. He encouraged farmers to get on board with companies such as Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), which has indicated its intention to expand it juice production.

“I like some of the ideas that are coming out. They are thinking forward about the preservation of fruit and establishing a processing plant, and those are good ideas we can work with. Overall, I am enthused that the farmers themselves can see sustainable living out of agriculture,” he said.

He reminded the farmers of Guyana’s soon to be oil and gas sector and the need for everyone to up the game with products that will be provided.

The Agriculture Sector Development Unit has distributed some 1,200-coconut seedling and 2,402 citrus plants to over 24 farmers. A weekly delivery schedule is maintained and will conclude by the end of March.

The ASDU the unit responsible has conducted a series of assessments and consultations with farmers and residents in Buxton and a number of persons indicated their readiness to return to farming in these abandoned lands, provided that improvements are made to the existing D&I system.

Communities such as Mocha, Buxton, Triumph and Ithaca have been identified for urgent intervention as residents over the last 30 years have been experiencing extreme flooding of farmlands due to poor drainage systems.

Alexis Rodney.

Images: Leon Leung.