President tells Toshaos to gear for agriculture production boost – with coming of all weather Linden/Lethem road
Georgetown, GINA, October 25, 2013
With plans in the making to upgrade the Linden/Lethem road into an all weather thoroughfare, President Donald Ramotar told Toshaos to anticipate heightened agriculture production in areas in close proximity.
The Head of State was at the time delivering his final remarks as the five-day, National Toshaos Council (NTC) meeting concluded at the Guyana International Conference (GICC) with a spirit of high optimism.
“I’m sure a road like that will stimulate agriculture production in your own areas because you will have bigger markets to sell to, and many of the products you can produce in the interior communities,” President Ramotar said.
Market access has often been one of the main challenges for farmers in the hinterland and remote areas largely because of the absence of the right infrastructure. Such is the case with Kimbia in Region Ten where 20,000 pounds of red beans are sitting.
“Even though many of the products you can produce in the interior communities, it is still cheaper to import them from abroad because of the lack of infrastructure,” President Ramotar said.
The availability of vast arable lands in the Rupununi region where the Linden Lethem road passes was the target of a Hinterland Rice and Beans Project- for the indigenous communities of the Rupununi Savannahs.
That project which started three years ago saw for the first time the harvesting of 82 acres of paddy at Moco-Moco, Region Nine.
Guyana and neighbouring Brazil have been collaborating on the Linden Lethem road project at the behest of former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva who had commissioned the bridge across the Takutu River in 2009.
The establishment of a Guyana/Brazil Joint Commission comprising representatives of both countries facilitated meetings on a regular basis and the conclusion of proposal in July this year, relevant to the Linden Lethem road and other major infrastructural projects.
A deepwater harbour in Guyana that would allow larger categories of goods to be transported and thereby boost trade relations with Brazil, has also been included in the proposals submitted.
In December 2012, Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and the Brazilian Minister of External Relations, Antonio Patriota signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring into being a Working Group on Infrastructural Projects. The group held its first meeting in February.