Sep 26, 2020 News
After five years…
While the previous David Granger led A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) regime expended over $90 million to construct a “model farm” at Fort Wellington, it only managed to rack up $1.4 million in produce over the five year period.
That startling revelation was made by Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall during the considerations of the 2020 National Budget at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
“Over $90 million spent and only $1.4 million reaped in produce and sold in the last five years at this model farm,” Minister Dharamlall stated in his presentation to the National Assembly.
The said model farm was a vision by then President David Granger using lands Minister Dharamlall said was “viciously” taken away from farmers at Fort Wellington. The project was labelled under the “Regional Economic Developmental Programme for Region Five”.
The project was expected to provide training for local farmers and students on the scientific methods of agricultural production leading to employment for people who desire to be self-employed and have a greater pride in agriculture. According to Minister Dharamlall, there is no justification that could be had for such a failed venture.
“That is an injustice to this budget, that is an injustice to the resources, that is an injustice to the taxpayers of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,” he said.
In the past, the lands were occupied and operated by farmers until then Regional Executive Officer (REO) Ovid Morrison had ordered their removal so that the area could be developed into a model farm. Notices were later placed at the entrances to the farms denying the farmers access to the lands. The farmers had occupied 50 acres of land and cultivated primarily cash crop, fruits and reared livestock. The lands were only recently handed back to the farmers after a three-year long court battle.
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