Food security will be sustained in Indigenous communities – Sukhai
…over 100 tractors procured to boost agriculture
Initiatives are underway to strengthen the food security in Amerindian villages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with new investments in the agriculture sector.
This was shared by Amerindian Affairs Minister, Pauline Sukhai on Friday as she outlined some of the projects on stream for villages, especially those that have been gravely impacted by the coronavirus. Some 112 tractors have been procured for distribution in the communities so that residents can independently maintain their food security. The machinery can also be used in other sectors to push economic growth.
“The food security of the Amerindian communities will be supported and sustained during the long challenge that we are facing with respect to the pandemic. In so doing, we have invested in the procurement of 112 tractors, which will go to the Amerindian villages that do not have tractors. These machineries will be used in the agriculture sector, forestry sector, and the transport sector; enhancing and embracing the development of these sectors in the various hinterland and Amerindian communities,” Sukhai told a group of Toshaos.
The Minister indicated that upon assuming office last year, resources were immediately deployed to North Pakaraimas and other areas, owing to shortages. Since then, several regions have since benefitted from assistance.
Last year, Sukhai had voiced that neglect under the previous coalition Administration in hinterland communities created the threat of starvation, after dwindling food resources were not replenished nor was any assistance provided.
After experiencing floods in 2017, the lands had not fully recovered to provide adequately. The COVID-19 lockdown compounded the issue since persons cannot traverse border communities to access their food necessities. She went on to say that apart from agricultural woes, there were grave shortages of medical supplies for hospitals and health centres, which transcended beyond the COVID-19 needs. As such, the PPP/C Government had undertaken efforts to alleviate the situation.
Meanwhile, she encouraged residents to take the pandemic seriously as it has already claimed the lives of some 175 persons in less than one year.
“…we are still battling COVID and I take this opportunity to encourage the Toshaos and other leaders of the various Amerindian villages, communities, and settlements to ensure that we encourage the villagers to take COVID-19 seriously. COVID-19 is a real threat and COVID-19 has already taken more than 100 from our population. Many has been affected so it is important for us to not only encourage but stress the need for the Amerindian population to take care of themselves,” she cautioned. (G12)