Massive developments for Region One’s agri sector

Barima -Waini (Region One) is set to undergo a number of developments in the agriculture sector.

Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, made the announcement during a visit to Kumaka, Wauna, Kamwatta and White Water villages on Tuesday.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha handing over faming equipment to the Regional Chairman of Region One, Mr. Brentnol Ashley

Among developments, is the establishment of an agro- processing facility in Mabaruma. He said it is a great investment as it would add value to farmers’ produce.

“What we’ll be doing now across the country, we are now building agro- processing facilities. Right here in Mabaruma we’ll be building a new agro-processing facility for you here. Your crops, we’ll make it more value -added instead of taking the crops from the farm and go straight to the market, you’ll take your crops to the agro- processing facility,” the minister said.

A resident raising a concern during the meeting

He added that the region will also receive two tractors and an excavator to help in the maintenance of roads, farms and other agricultural works in the area.  

“Comrades we have to change… if we’re farming on the swamps, we have to move out of the swamp area, if we are farming on the low land area, we’ll have to empolder those areas. And because of that I’ve promised the chairman that within one month from now I’ll be sending a new machine here to Mabaruma so that you can have the empolderment done and that machine will remain in your community to do works right across the region.

Farmers in attendance at the meeting in Wauna

“What we will be doing also, too before the year is out, in Region One, through our ministry, we’ll be receiving two large tractors with implements. The two tractors will have grass planters, harrows, ploughs and that will be based in the region and that will be used to help people,” Minister Mustapha stated.   

Theminister said the ministry will establish an agriculture office in the region which will see officers from various fields catering to the region’s agricultural needs.

Farmers in attendance at the meeting in White Water

Meanwhile, Minister Mustapha committed to offering two scholarships for youths in the White Water community to attend the Guyana School of Agriculture. 

He said it is important, as it would allow for residents to be trained in the sector and return to their communities to overlook and assist farmers in various ways.

While in that community, the minister also committed two shade houses to villagers. He said farming can no longer be done the traditional way, as climate change has taken a toll on weather patterns.

Some of the farming equipment and tools distributed to the farmers

He noted that the farmers who suffered losses due to the recent floods will shortly receive flood relief grants from the government, to assist them in getting back to their lands.

“Each and every person who would have suffered losses because of the floods, whose farms were destroyed, whose garden was destroyed, we will try as much as possible to reach out to them to give them some form of flood relief and the flood relief will take the form of monetary relief from the government. So, every farmer that suffer losses will have not less than $50,000.”

Residents of Kamwatta raised concerns about markets for their produce and requested the minister’s intervention.

Some of the seeds distributed to farmers

The Minister committed to informing the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) of the situation and to resolve the issue.

He noted that government will continue to make the necessary investments in the agriculture sector, which remains one of the most important sectors to Guyana.

Seeds, planting materials, tools, and pumps were also donated to the villagers of each community.