Hundreds of Region Five farmers receive cash grant
– Minister Edghill tells them it is not compensation but relief
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill told farmers in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) that the government’s cash distribution is not compensation, but rather relief for persons severely affected by the recent countrywide flooding.
He was at the time distributing the flood relief to farmers in Dundee and De-Hoop on Friday.
“President Ali and his cabinet fashioned and announced an initiative that will see the benefit, not compensation, but relief to help everybody get back on their feet…those rains and flooding conditions worried all of you, but it also worried us as a government,” the minister said.
He told farmers that while the grant may not be enough for them to get back everything lost, it will “cushion the effects” of the flooding and help them return to work.
“You are farmers, these sums even though sounding large are no way adequate enough to give you everything that you want, you need or you lost, but if I can speak to you in farming terms, it’s a seed and once properly sown, nourished, can get you where you want.”
The minister noted that the government realised that persons were suffering, and as such made it a priority to bring support to people, which will allow the country to move forward.
“Throughout the entire region approximately $1 billion will go in direct support to help farmers to bounce back, to get themselves re-organised, to allow you to invest, and get going again so we can move Guyana forward.”
Additionally, about 600 farmers from Dundee received the flood-relief grant, totalling $153 million while, almost 500 farmers in De-Hoop collected approximately $150 million.
Meanwhile, some farmers expressed gratitude to the government, noting that the money will be used to purchase seeds and livestock for their farms.
Livestock farmer, Ms. Kim Davis said, “I feel happy because I could get to start back because I lost, I lose goats and chickens so, I feel happy I can get to start back…I gon take the money and turn over again.”
Another Farmer, Mr. Christopher Chichester said he is grateful for the initiative as most of his crops were destroyed.
“It was good, because the rain do a lot of damage to we crop…because I ain’t expect for the rain fall so long and the water was too much and the plant that we plant some come and some ain’t come, majority the water kill out so I feel good how yall come an give this grant to the cash crop people them and…we are grateful for it,” Mr. Chichester said.
Mr. Khemraj Granchand said, “I feel good, a hundred thousand, at least it gon do something …I already on the farm and this gon give me a start to buy the manure and the drugs and thing.”
Minister Edghill reminded the farmers of the developments taking place across the country, reassuring them that agriculture remains a priority sector for development. He said small and large-scale farmers are equally important.