Over $46M in relief distributed to Cotton Tree, Rosignol farmers

Some $46 million in cheques were distributed to farmers in Cotton Tree and Rosignol villages, West Coast Berbice on Sunday, as part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to help farmers rebuild following the unprecedented nationwide flooding.

During the distribution exercises, beneficiaries spoke of the effects of the flood and the timely intervention by the Government.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP, hands over a cheque to another farmer

Cash crop farmer Fizal Mohamed said he lost all of his produce. In addition, most of his farming equipment and chemicals were damaged by the contaminated flood waters.

“Well, I am glad that I am getting back something to start back again. I plan on repurchasing seedlings to replant my farm when I collect the money,”Mohamed told DPI. 

Fizal Mohamed, a farmer and beneficiary of a flood relief cheque

Another cash crop farmer, Dhiantie Manickram said she lost over $60,000 in produce due to the floods. This is apart from the lemon and coconut trees that collapsed due to the overly-saturated soil.

“I feel happy. We might not get back all that we lost but we are having something back, so I am satisfied with what the Government is doing,”she said.

Dhiantie Manickram, another farmer and beneficiary of a flood relief cheque

Now that the woman has collected her cheque, she plans on elevating her garden to prevent damage from any future floods.

Large scale cattle and rice farmer Wazim Shariff, told DPI that he lost 22 horses and 58 cows. In addition to this, the farmer indicated that he lost 200 acres of rice. However, with the relief he collected from the Government, Shariff said he will use the money to rebuild his farm.

“I feel good about this relief. I will buy back some livestock and plant back my rice because that is what we depend on to live,”he said.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP, hands over a cheque to a farmer

Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat, who led the distribution, reminded the farmers that the Government will continue to work with them, especially in this unparalleled environment. 

“We will not make the same mistakes as in the past; that we will continue to come to our people, we will continue engaging you, we will continue to work with you so that you can build a better life.” 

The Minister encouraged the beneficiaries to use the money wisely, whether it to be liquidate debts or rebuild their farms.

At the two locations, over 380 cheques were distributed. Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, MP, and Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall, MP, also conducted similar distribution exercises in Region Five.