Gov’t fostering community development through agriculture – President Ali

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Saturday visited the communities of Susannah’s Rust and Dora, along the Demerara River, where he outlined the government’s goals for community development through increased agriculture.

Susannah’s Rust, the president noted, sits on thousands of acres of fertile land currently untapped.

He said that the government sees an opportunity to utilise this land, and encouraged residents, like those in other Demerara River communities, to set up shade houses to tap into viable markets and increase their disposable income.

According to President Ali, there is a ready market for hot peppers and honey production.

He said that government will assist with the capital investment and training to ensure that these ventures take off in the community.

“We want also for the women and young people to come together. We’re going to train you. We’re going to give you the protective gear, the protective equipment, and we’re going to give you the hives so that you can start honey production and the value added in this community,” he told the residents.

Moreover, recognising the challenge that many farmers have been facing due to flooding, President Ali said that the government will conduct drainage works and clearing of two acres for each farmer to encourage their return to production.

“That is the type of investment we are making on your behalf. And all we are asking you to do is to commit yourselves to it. To produce. To work hard. And to help us on this journey. Make no mistake, you have a government that cares about you, that loves you, that wants to see you successful,” the head of state assured.

In addition to his development plans, the president listened to resident concerns and proposed solutions for both immediate and long-term issues.

He said that in the community of roughly 40 households, within the last four years, $3.5 million has been invested in expanding education, while another $12.8 million was spent on critical infrastructural upgrades through the Ministry of Local Government.

Human and social services in the community have also received a welcome boost, as $20 million was injected through increases in old age pension, public assistance, and other programmes.

Additionally, a notable investment of $107 million was poured into the community’s agriculture sector.

Meanwhile, during his engagement with residents of Dora, the president disclosed that more than $240 million had been invested in the small community.

“In the Ministry of Agriculture, we are now starting a massive program in the Demerara River, and we want you to be included in that program. So we are making the investment because we believe in the potential of your community. We believe in the potential of all of you,” he underscored.

The Guyanese leader also reminded that the government is looking to procure two cargo boats to assist in transporting produce to the markets for farmers along the Demerara River, and reaffirmed its commitment to engaging with each community to foster development.