Govt will continue to address plight of farmers – VP Jagdeo

– urges farmers to work with Govt to solve problems

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday met with rice farmers of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) during which he reiterated that his Government will continue to work with them to address the issues that are currently facing the industry.

VP Jagdeo speaking at the rice farmer meeting

During the meeting held at the Anna Regina Multilateral School’s auditorium, the VP noted that he has been very proactive in addressing problems facing people in the region, especially the rice farmers.
He said during his last visit sometime in May, over 1500 rice farmers benefited from a $275 million fertiliser voucher which was aimed at alleviating the cost burden of production in the region.
“You raised issues about drainage and irrigation, deplorable access dams, roads and we fix that… We even handed over a boom sprayer machine which will assist farmers in spraying bugs, tractors were handed over and other inputs into the agriculture.”

A farmer raising a concern at the meeting

He further stated that Region Two is well known for producing rice and is the backbone of farming in the region that supports the rice industry. Jagdeo also reminded the farmers that they have the Government’s support.
“We are here to work with the farmers to genuinely improve your stocks and production. Every single day we are out there fighting for farmers; fighting for every Guyanese. So, we are in this together… Any issue affecting you it’s guaranteed that we will solve it. And on the rice industry, we know there are a never-ending problem but we will do our best to solve them,” Jagdeo said while encouraging the farmers.

Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha

He further stated that in less than two years the Government was able to remove vat from fertilisers which was a sore issue for farmers due to high prices; and lower fuel prices which increased due to global problems. He further explained that the PPP/C Government will try its best to open up new markets and is constantly trying to do what will help because it’s very important for Guyanese.
However, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha during his remarks touched on rice harvesting in the region. He mentioned that 46 per cent of the rice crop is already harvested and as such preparation is still ongoing for reaping.

Rice farmers at the meeting

He added that in May, all farmers that were entitled to a fertiliser voucher received their cheques. He noted that other than the vouchers, the Ministry of Agriculture was able to successfully distribute seed paddy, medicines, jack low sprayers, and tractors and also rehabilitate access dams leading to rice fields, irrigation, and drainage.
“The Government is currently figuring out ways and means in which we can have more lucrative markets for rice…We are working to ensure that happens. Farm-to-market roads open new lands and over two years that was a promise made in the manifesto… It is fulfilled and we manage to complete all and aim to do new things,” Mustapha related
However, he encouraged the rice farmers that the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to work with them to solve the issues affecting them.
Farmers took the opportunity to thank the Government for its prompt assistance whenever a problem is affecting them. (Raywattie Deonarine)