A contract was inked between the Agriculture Ministry and Gaico Construction and General Services Inc to the tune of $500 million for the dredging of the Pomeroon River. This along with 24 other contracts were signed on Tuesday at the Ministry’s head office, Regent and Vlissengen Road, Georgetown.
Gaico Construction was awarded the contract as there is an “urgent need to dredge the Pomeroon River estuary to allow for the economic and agricultural development within the area,” the Agriculture Ministry stated.
The work of Gaico Construction will assist in increasing the draft of the Pomeroon River, which will facilitate various vessels to access the river at both high and low tides.
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha during the signing ceremony related that the dredging of the Pomeroon River contract is the most important compared to the others.
“We know for a fact that the dredging of the Pomeroon River, that’s a major project. This is a very important project for us. Tremendous work is to be done there,” the Minister said. The contract allotted to Gaico Construction is worth exactly $569,300,000.
In addition, Minister Mustapha stated that the Ministry will also be looking to dredge the Mahaicony, Mahaica, and Abary Rivers in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) next.
“We are also looking at the three rivers in Region Five, the Mahaicony, Mahaica, and Abary River to do dredging, so later on, I think in the year, we might have those programmes commence. And we’re also looking to do a lot of major drainage work in the other region; regions, three, five, and six,” the Minister noted.
Meanwhile, the 35 contracts are being procured by six entities – Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA); Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo); Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC); the Fisheries; National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); and the National Drainage & Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
The Minister said that the 35 contracts that were awarded will enhance and improve operation so that the Ministry can function at its full capacity since Guyana will be leading the agri food system in the Caribbean.
In this regard, he added, “We’ll be hosting an Agri Investment Forum not so long from now, from the 19th to the 21st of May. That means that a lot of investors will be coming to Guyana to invest in the agriculture sector, so we have to have the infrastructure in place. Those contracts that we’ll be signing this afternoon are necessary for us to enhance our agriculture sector.
“We are now putting our country in place to take up the slack of the agriculture sector in the Caribbean. We are now building our country, putting the necessary infrastructure in place.”
General Equipment Guyana Limited was awarded the second-highest contract, amounting to $143,155,423 for the supply and delivery of two complete sets of land levelling equipment to facilitate GuySuCo agriculture policy on improving the efficiency and productivity of its cultivation.
The total of the contracts amounted to some $1,359,795,148.