The Guyanese government is exploring various ways to support rice farmers in the Essequibo Coast region, specifically by helping them return their lands to resume cultivation. This was announced by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha during a recent meeting with several farmers in the area.

Inclement weather during the last rice crop prevented many farmers from cultivating their lands, but the government is looking to work with these farmers to get their lands back under cultivation for the new crop. Minister Mustapha acknowledged the challenges faced by farmers and stressed his ministry’s commitment to working with them to identify new crop opportunities.

The government is also pushing for the expansion of traditional crops and exploring new opportunities while developing the livestock sector. These efforts aim to support various farmers and ensure their livelihoods are protected.

In addition, following the passage of budget 2023, the government has highlighted several projects earmarked for the Essequibo Coast, with a particular focus on the food sector. The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) is planning to invest around $16B into drainage and irrigation nationwide this year, with a portion of the funds allocated to effectively support the drainage systems in Region Two.

Furthermore, the government will continue dredging the Pomeroon river mouth to ease flooding in the area. A pontoon with two excavators has already been acquired and stationed permanently to assist farmers in the Pomeroon.

Minister Mustapha emphasised that these investments will bring much-needed transformation to Guyana’s food industry, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth, as well as improving food security and self-sufficiency. He remains adamant that Guyana can tap into its potential, capture more international markets, and bring in important foreign exchange for its people. (Modified from the Department of Public Information)


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