DEAR HON. MINISTER,
Please allow me to formally congratulate you and your party on a hard-fought victory.
His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali in his first address to the Nation has been very vocal that his government will strive for accountability, transparency and inclusivity.
Recently, Black Bush Polder was greeted by the Honourable Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall.
Mr. Dharamlall has been very proactive in the development of Black Bush Polder. I have already seen improvement in the delivery of services by his Ministry in my Community.
Such visionary leadership has given renewed hope and has rekindled the flame of prosperity.Hon. Minister, I was also elated to learn that you have also graced us with your presence. However, the venue and time for such meeting with you for farmers to air their concerns in Mibikuri were changed at the very last moment or was not communicated to all the people of Mibikuri.
Farmers waited for over an hour at the venue highlighted by your Ministry in its meeting schedule posted on its
Facebook page to meet with you while you were at another location holding such meeting with a selected few.
Nevertheless, there are a few critical areas, which many other residents and I would seek your timely intervention into since we could not meet with you:
The Water Users Association (WUA) – In 2019, The Executives of the WUA has made a decision to increase rice land rates and taxes by 100% (From $1,000 per acre to $2,000 per acre).
When confronted, the Chairman of the WUA told rice farmers that the taxes will return to $1,000 per acre once the PPP/C party return to Government. Please note, majority of rice farmers have not paid any taxes since such announcement.
– The Water Users Association has been holding Elections for office bearers for the past years with a selected few in attendance.
Majority of farmers are not given the opportunity to exercise their right to vote.
– I am kindly asking on behalf of rice farmers for a forensic audit to be conducted into the Water Users Association.
There are many instances where fake receipts are given to rice farmers for payments made, blank receipts are given to contractors to sign for work done, items are purchased by members of the WUA for their benefits but recorded as expenses incurred by the WUA.
Drainage, Irrigation and Access Dams
– The harvesting season is upon us. Recent heavy downpour of rains has rendered rice-lands inaccessible.
We are kindly seeking your assistance in the clearing of canals and paving of the dams.
– Irrigation during the dry spell has been a major problem over the years. Rice farmers have experienced hardship in getting water to their ricelands to commence cultivation.
Duty Free Concessions for farming Equipment and Supplies
– In 2015, the APNU+AFC government has reverted the duty-free concessions granted to rice farmers by the PPP/C Government. We are kindly asking if such can be made available once again.
– Farmers in Black Bush Polder need a voice to air their concerns. As such, I would be grateful if you can kindly initiate a Farmers’ Group in Black Bush Polder.
– There is an urgent need for an access bridge at
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From page 4
‘Wiley’s’ Turn (Turn to Zambia).
This bridge will greatly aid in the preservation of Mibikuri North Access Dam.
Hon Minister, I am of the firm believe that with your leadership and committed partners, the Agriculture Sector in Guyana will prosper.
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