Heavy land rent to be reversed; sugar estates will re-open 

– PPP/C Gov’t continues to deliver on manifesto promises 

– Min. Mustapha commits to addressing critical agriculture issues in Region 5

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, August 15, 2020

Guyanese farmers can expect significantly reduced land rental rates in the coming weeks in keeping with the PPP/C’s manifesto promise to reverse the exorbitant rates imposed on farmers by the previous APNU+AFC Coalition Administration.

In some cases, land rent for farmlands was tripled, plunging farmers who were already facing severe challenges related to climate resilience, flood-prone lands, pests and drainage and irrigation woes, into despair.

Earlier today, several farmers from Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five) met with the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha, to address critical areas related to land rent, drainage and irrigation, livestock safety and other major concerns that have been plaguing farmers for years.

In this regard, Minister Mustapha revealed that the PPP/C administration is committed to upholding its manifesto promises, including the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) on agricultural machinery and products.

In his engagement with sugar estate workers, rice, livestock, and cash crop farmers in West Berbice, the Minister assured them that the PPP/C Government is committed to re-opening sugar estates, which were closed by the former APNU+AFC Government, across Guyana.

On the ground in Blairmont, C-Field, Cotton Tree, Foulis, Bush Lot, and Bath, in the Mahaica-Berbice Region, the Agriculture Minister explained that this new PPP/C Administration is resilient, and will work assiduously in the interest of farmers to make sugar viable again.

Addressing the wealth of concerns levelled against GuySuCo about the sugar industry’s performance over the last few years, Minister Mustapha said that a large part of the failure of GuySuCo is due to the management of the estates.

Region Five has two sugar estates – Rose Hall and Blairmont. It was disclosed that a new Board of Directors will be appointed to better manage these and other sugar estates across Guyana.

The improvement of the management at sugar estates, the Minister opined, will revitalise sugar as one of the main, largest, and most successful exports for Guyana.

The commitment to rebuilding the sugar industry was recently underscored by His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, during an engagement in the community of Crane, on the West Coast of Demerara.

“The upliftment of those families and the rebuilding of the sugar industry is as strong as it was when we promised. I assure you that we will work assiduously, at not only securing these lives and livelihood for them; we will work hard at creating new opportunities on advancing new opportunities to full the promises we would have made in our manifesto,” President Ali had stated.