MMA-ADA gets $98 million for emergency works

– Agri Minister says scheme important to sector

The Mahaica Mahaicony Abary – Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) has received $98 million to conduct urgent repairs to drainage, infrastructure and dams.

This sum is part of the $300 million allocated by Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha for emergency works.

The Minister said the Authority is very important to Guyana, in an interview hosted by the MMA-ADA.

“I think that we as a Government will ensure that we maintain this scheme. This scheme here will play a very important role in the future, not only in rice but cash crop and cattle rearing,” he said.

The report highlighted that works undertaken by the Authority to clear agricultural land in the Mahaica-Berbice (Region Five), which consist of 252 drains, is expected to be completed by the end of October or early November.  

The work to clear the channels in the scheme is being executed by the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) in partnership with the MMA-ADA.

The $98 million was allocated to be used in two areas; $90 million for drainage works and $8 million to upgrade dams in three phases of the scheme.

MMA Engineer, Mr. Mahendranaught Ramjit, said the current works will boost the drainage capacity of the scheme and make a major difference to farmers.  

“This project will benefit approximately 96,000 acres of rice land in the area and over 2,300 farmers, families within the Abary Berbice and the Mahaica-Mahaicony block,” he said.

Mr. Ramjit added that two graders are in the Abary-Berbice block, two in Mahaicony and two in the Mahaica Block which will prepare access to assist farmers in taking out their crops and ensure they are no losses due to the inadequate access in some areas.

He also said the main access dams which allow farmers to transport paddy to the field were one of the first to be rehabilitated.  The engineer also called on rice farmers in the scheme to be mindful of the cost to repair the roads and dams in the scheme and to exercise care during wet conditions to preserve the dam.

Eighty-four persons were hired to manually clean some of the trenches in the scheme. Emergency works were also executed to clear clogged drains and channels in the various West Berbice communities that are often affected by flooding.

Mr. Ramjit said the Minister through the NDIA, has ensured that the $90 million assigned for these works will provide relief for farmers in this current rice crop.

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