PPP/C rallies in Region Ten

DPI, Guyana, Monday, January 20, 2020

At its Linden campaign rally on Sunday evening, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Presidential candidate Irfaan Ali outlined his plans to create jobs in agriculture, logging and mining.

Ali told those gathered of his intention to invest in farm-to-market roads, provide access to farmlands and improve farming infrastructure.

However, it must be noted that the Coalition government has constructed and rehabilitated several farm-to-market roads across the country.

In July of 2018, His Excellency President David Granger opened two farm-to-market roads in Parika, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara. The roads benefit more than 9,500 farmers and enable them to get a larger amount of their production to the markets in a timelier manner and better condition.

In August of last year developmental work on the 45-mile farm-to-market road that spans Linden all the way to the farming community of Kimbia in the Berbice River. The project cost $300Million and will make accessible thousands of acres of farmlands in the intermediate savannahs.

Just in December 2019, a $100Million upgrade was carried out on the Onverwagt, farm-to-market road aback of the West Coast Berbice. This road provides 125 residents with hassle-free access to 40,000 acres of rice land and 10,000 heads of cattle. It also allows for lower production and transportation costs during the harvesting and land preparation periods.

Also, under the Rural Agricultural Infrastructure Development (RAID) project, which was launched in 2016, several farmers along the East of Coast of Demerara including Mon Repos, Buxton, Ithaca and Triumph received much-needed technical and infrastructural support.

In the logging and mining industries, Ali said that the PPP will return tags to the forestry and mining organisation but will give back support with equipment, training, land and resources.

In November of 2019, the Guyana Forestry Commission awarded two brand-new concessions to the Ituni Small Loggers Association in the Upper Demerara-Berbice region. 12, 500 acres were made available in Berbice while another 9,933 acres was made available in Demerara. In 2018 $10Million was injected into the forestry sector for capacity building. The project improved the livelihoods of several community forestry groups

Under the Coalition the mining sector has seen much reform. To ensure the fair distribution of mining lands the Ministry of Natural Resources held several mining lotteries in Georgetown, Port Kaituma, Bartica and Mahdia where over 400 persons benefitted.

Several Corps of Wardens were established to ensure ensuring the protection and preservation of Guyana’s natural resources by strengthening compliance monitoring and enforcement capabilities. In October 2019 the first Corps of Wardens Station – ‘Black Caiman’ – at Dagg Point, Bartica was commissioned.

Field training as it relates to the reduction of the use of mercury as stipulated in the Minamata Convention began. Miners and persons connected to the local gold mining industry were assured that the phased approach will not affect their livelihoods. Guyana completed the Minamata initial assessment in 2016, is now formulating a National Action Plan (NAP) for its Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASGM) sector.

After Ali, the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate (ret’d) Brigadier Mark Phillips and General Sectary Bharrat Jagdeo both took to the podium.

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