Over $80M in flood relief grant distributed to farmers in Parika and Greenwich Park
Scores of farmers on the East Bank of Essequibo are now beneficiaries of over $80 million worth in cheques. These monies are part of the Government’s flood relief initiative which aims to support farmers to go back to the soil following the effects of the unprecedented nationwide flooding.
On Saturday, Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat spearheaded the distribution of these cheques to farmers at Parika Back, Parika Salem, Farm, Le Destin, Greenwich Park, Philadelphia, Vergenoegen and other villages within the region.
At the venues, the Minister reminded the farmers that Guyana is an oil producing nation which means that the country is reaping significant revenues from petroleum sales. But even with the country’s new found and highly-demanded resource, Minister Bharrat was quick to reaffirm that the Government intends on using the funds from the oil sector to transform traditional sectors, particularly agriculture.
“Agriculture employs ten times more people than oil and gas could ever do… We’re trying to make lives better for everyone, and we want to assure you, we want you to know that the Government is committed to building the agriculture sector because the agriculture sector is important to us.”
On the ground, DPI spoke to several beneficiaries regarding the flood relief grant initiative. Many of the farmers relayed how the flooding severely affected their agricultural livelihood.
“I have lost cows, sheep, cassava, and a half acre of my kitchen garden,”said Riccard Waddle, a 67-year-old farmer from Farm.
“If I collect money, I will try to get through with NAREI to get back a cow, a good cow and sheep because my wife and I have been doing farming for years,”Waddle added.
Ramdat Basdeo, a rice farmer, stated that he lost six acres of produce after his farm became inundated with the flood waters.
“I will try to get back into the farming. At least something will help to buy some fuel or fertilizer or seed paddy; whatever it can afford,”he told DPI.
Bibi Farida Khan, a kitchen garden farmer who lost all her produce during the flood, expressed her contentment over being supported by the Government to rebuild what she lost.
To this end she said, “With the money I will open more. I plant bora cabbage, cucumber, watermelons, balanjay, pumpkin, everything.”
In the coming weeks, more Ministers will spread out across Guyana to deliver the Government’s flood relief grant.