MMA/ADA calls on farmers to pay their rates

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  • govt ceasing funding of authority’s capital expenditure 

DPI, Guyana, Monday, June 18, 2018

The government has ceased funding capital works undertaken by the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary-Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA), so the onus is now on farmers to pay their rates.

According to the General Manager, Aubrey Charles, the agency is now dependent on rates paid by lessees to execute maintenance and other capital-related works.

“Farmers have not been honouring their indebtedness to the MMA and the MMA Board of directors has agreed that management must do something to collect the in excess of $700 Million that is owed.  For last year as well as this year you would have found a lot of persons not paying the increased charges. But prior to 2017, the charges had remained $2500 per acre per year for about 10 years prior to that so what was happening was that the collectable amount of money was less than the actual cost to run the scheme.”

According to Charles, for the years 2017 and 2018, the government has only funded the authority’s recurrent expenditure to the value of $154M and $170M respectively.

“For the past two years last year as well as this year we get just recurrent funding to pay salaries … light bill stationery and this kind of stuff… fuel to get your vehicles moving…we just get recurrent funding,” Charles explained.

“Apart from the D’ Edward sluice, which was in the making for the past two years, we have not received monies to do capital works or to do maintenance of the drainage and irrigation system. That is the money that has to come from farmers.”

The MMA/ADA is a semi-autonomous agency under the Ministry of Agriculture. Its main function is the administration of state lands in the Region Five West Berbice area. It provides services to aid in the agricultural production of the lands leased to farmers.

By: Kidackie Amsterdam.