Region Five plans to use its budget to boost agriculture production

– Regional Chairman

Regional Chairman Mr. VickchandRamphal says Region Five has benefited from a significant boost in investments to enhance agriculture infrastructure and plans to utilise its 2021 Budget to conduct further upgrades to expand production.

Mr. Ramphal told DPI recently that the Region partnered with stakeholders to rehabilitate several farm-to-market roads and other infrastructure vital to agriculture. He said the collaboration is another demonstration of the Government’s commitment to fulfilling its manifesto promises to the people.

“For the past six months, MMA-ADA, NDIA and the Ministry has played an integral role in ensuring our drainage and irrigation structures, canals, sluices, bridges, access road are properly maintained and so excavators were deployed to the Region per the commitment of the Minister through several visits to the Region,” he said.

The Abary sluice was one of the major projects undertaken which benefitted residents, farmers and fisherfolk.  The Region plans to execute more infrastructural upgrades to this koker.

Region Five Regional Chairman, Mr. Vickchand Ramphal

“Work is also ongoing on the Burma road which is the main access to the farmland areas between Mahaicony, Burma and other surrounding areas since we have approximately 25,000 acres of rice being cultivated in that area.

This is being executed by the Ministry of Public Works. In the MMA scheme, we have an extension of Onverwagt road, which will also benefit farmers tremendously,” Mr. Ramphal added.

He said the Region’s 2021 budget caters for everyone.

“We have ensured that there is something for everyone in our 2021 budget proposal because in the preparation of this proposal, we had consultations across the Region with the 10 NDCs and the various communities without such authority. It is an inclusive budget which not only benefits residents, but makes them happy,” he said.

In his 2021 National Budget presentation, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Dr. Ashni Singh said that over the next five years, the country will see a massive increase in annual rice production. This goal would be realised through enhanced research and development, the adoption of new technologies, the promotion of new, high-yielding varieties and the establishment of new markets and other measures.

Six drying floors are to be built this year at strategic rice-producing locations to provide much-needed support to farmers in Regions Two, Three, Five and Six. A soil laboratory to facilitate efficient and economic production of paddy is also on the cards.

Additionally, five long-reach sprayers would be acquired to control paddy bugs on dams and fields efficiently along with a motorised thresher to aid plant breeding experiments. To this end, a laboratory will be built for experimental trials on value-added rice products.

A Post-Harvest/Value-Added Department will also be established at the Guyana Rice Development Board to pursue physical and sensory analyses for shelf-life studies for rice and rice-based food products. Those initial steps, Minister Singh said, will position the rice industry to gain the momentum needed to achieve the targeted growth in the medium-term. The $383.1 billion National Budget was themed, “A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience.”