VP Jagdeo announces $300M fertiliser support for Region 6 farmers
– 20-member committee to determine procurement, distribution
Farmers in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) will soon benefit from support in the form of $300 million in fertiliser from the Government, as efforts continue to cushion the effects of the rising cost of living throughout the country.
This announcement was made on Friday by Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo during an engagement with farmers at Number 63 Village. Corentyne.
“We recognise that fertiliser is a big input into agriculture, and particularly into the rice industry; and if people have to spend more on fertiliser, it will cut their profit margins. So, we wanted to do something to help, and that is why we’ve set aside this sum of money,” the VP said.
However, a 20-member committee has also been formed to determine how the fertiliser would be procured and distributed among the farmers.
The Vice President has said that establishment of the committee would ensure the equitable distribution of the fertilizer, and prevent attempts by persons who do not qualify for the support from depriving those in need.
Of the $300 million, some $25 million would go to cash crop farmers for fertiliser.
Jagdeo said Government had set aside $1 billion in fertiliser support for the country following consultations with farmers.
The Vice President explained that, even though the PPP/C Government removed the 14 per cent tax that was placed on fertiliser by the APNU+AFC, the prices continue to climb, due to the rise in oil prices.
“So, every time crude oil goes up, the price of fertiliser and everything else goes up, and oil prices have moved from $28 in 2015 per barrel of crude oil to $120 per barrel. So, it’s a steep climb… It’s largely been because of the war in Ukraine,” the VP explained.
Government has also removed the taxes on gasoline and diesel from 50 percent to zero; however, the VP noted that external factors continue to affect prices.
Only recently, the Government announced the $250 million in fertiliser support for Region Two farmers.
President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, in a recent Address to the Nation, announced several measures aimed at cushioning the effects of the rising cost of living, among which are the purchase of the fertiliser as well as $25,000 cash grants for households in riverine and hinterland communities.
Support is being provided to these two groups, since they have been severely affected by the cost-of-living increases, which resulted from the global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war.
Meanwhile, the Vice President has said that, once farmers can provide proof of their losses, Government is willing to further assist with the purchase of seed paddy, among other interventions.