Region Three farmers to access Parika Conservancy Dam -Agri Minister

Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha has assured Region Three farmers that they would soon be able to access water from the Parika Conversancy Dam for their farmlands.

The Board for the conservancy is being reviewed to change policy to cater to farmers, he said, during an outreach in Vergenoegen, Parika, and Ruby Backdam, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara (Region Three) on Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, a team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will visit the area within two days to start the works.

The Minister was accompanied by a technical team including representatives from the Guyana Livestock Development Authority and the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI).

NAREI distributed over 200 seed packs to encourage farmers to produce more.

“I just spoke to the Chairman of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority Board and for now on those people who want access to the conservancy will have…I will[ask] our people [to] give access to them and at the same time, we care the infrastructure and not damage it,” Minister Mustapha said.

In response to concerns raised about improved roads, drainage and irrigation and other works, the Minister said these matters would be addressed by their subject ministries.

Farmers were also urged to form a group which will not only work along with the Conversancy board and NDIA engineer, but make representation for those in need of water. This group will also be able to submit infrastructure projects for the community, which will be included in the Ministry’s 2021 Budget.

The Minister also said Guyana expects to collect its outstanding rice payment of $1.9B from Panama.

“We (Government) have made contact with the people from Panama and they have acknowledged their debt. They say that they will pay it with interest and they want to continue the contract that we have to supply … They asked us for some time but hopefully before the year is out, the rice millers that are owed can receive their money,” he said.