Windsor Forest rice farmers pleased with govt’s swift intervention

Rice farmers of Windsor Forest, Region Three, on Thursday commended the government for its timely response to an issue that has been affecting cultivation and harvesting.

Two days after President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali met with farmers in Region Three, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha was able to address concerns about the deplorable condition of the access dam to their rice fields.

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

The minister visited several fields at Ruimzeight to assess the conditions.

Rice farmer, Rajesh Kadarnuth expressed that the farmers are happy about the outcome of the meeting.

“Some of the farmers met President at Den Amstel and he promised that the minister would be in Windsor Forest within the week and within 48 hours, the minister came to Windsor Forest and the farmers are very, very happy because his intervention and some of his solutions sound very practical,” he noted.

Minister Mustapha, officials, and farmers at the rice field

Kadarnuth noted that it was a good sign for the farmers to reap the current crop since the farmers have experienced several problems including preparation, cost and the weather. 

Another rice farmer, Lalchand Chitram said, “I think the minister did something well for us, something good. Because he walked and checked the field out personally, go in and check the field and see the situation that we’re in right now.”

Lalchand Chitram, rice farmer

He said the inclement weather has affected productivity.

“Well, what the minister try is that we can try our best to see how much we can harvest. And then, the government will try to see how best they can assist us with what’s left. So, from Saturday, we will start to harvest back,” he added.

Minister Mustapha inspecting the rice field

Minister Mustapha reassured the farmers that GRDB will monitor the region’s rice crop daily to provide a report to assist the farmers.

He told DPI, “Based on the visit, I think, in another day from now, we can have harvest recommence. Although some of the lands were soft, I think for the last couple of days, we have seen the weather has held up. And I think that with the condition that presently prevails, we can have harvesting. I’m very optimistic that the amount of paddy that remains in the field can be harvested.”

Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha and rice farmers at the rice field at Ruimzeight

He said the government understands the value of the sector and has been providing the resources and equipment required for its development.

The PPP/C Government has been steadfast in its efforts to improve production levels in all areas of the agriculture sector. 

A section of the rice field at West Turn, Ruimzeight

Minister Mustapha said the main objective is to ensure there is maximum productivity since there is a high demand for rice.

Farmers at the meeting
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