Jul 10, 2021 News
– As Ministry works to resuscitate agriculture production
Kaieteur News – Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, recently handed over a tractor-driven pump to the Nabaclis Water Users Association (WUA) to assist with boosting agriculture production in the village. The pump was procured at a cost of $1,100,000.
During a visit to the village last November, Minister Mustapha committed to assisting farmers with resuscitating agriculture in the villages of Nabaclis, Victoria and Golden Grove. Farmers who attended the initial meeting told the Minister that the area was once known for its agriculture production and sought his assistance with returning to the land.
After listening to those requests, Minister Mustapha told the farmers that he would make the necessary resources available to assist them with stimulating farming in the villages.
This week, the Minister made good on his commitment when he returned to the village to hand over the piece of equipment.
While offering comments during a simple handing over exercise, Minister Mustapha told residents that his ministry has been working to fulfill all of the requests made by farmers.
“When farmers make requests for works to be done, whether it is for the clearing of drains and canals, the rehabilitation of critical structures, or the installation of tubes or pumps, I try my best to have those requests satisfied. After becoming Minister of Agriculture, I visited the area and farmers made several requests…As a government, we have a responsibility to work with all citizens, and I want to assure you that communities like yours will not be left out of development,” Minister Mustapha said.
He also told residents that Guyana is once again seeing an upsurge in agriculture-related activities.
“My objective as Minister is to improve agriculture in this country. When farmers produce the entire country benefits from your production. Today, we are seeing an upsurge in agriculture-related activities across the country and in years to come, your farmlands will once again be able to make their contribution to the development of this country. Over the last five years, we’ve seen a rapid decline in agriculture across the country because the necessary infrastructure was not put in place. As a government, we understand the importance of having a thriving agriculture sector so we will do what is necessary to support the farmers and boost the sector,” Minister Mustapha said.
Chairman of the Nabaclis WUA, Kenrick Wickum, while appealing to farmers for their continued support said that he desired to see the villages of Victoria, Nabaclis and Golden Grove back on their feet.
“The farmers said that we needed to develop and improve. I must say thanks to the Minister for what his ministry has done so far. I intend to see Nabaclis, Golden Grove and Victoria back on their feet again. I remember as a child, my grandparents used to feed me and my parents through farming. If it was so then, we can do it again through the help and support of the government and the Minister,” Mr. Wickum said.
Farmers present also appealed to the Minister for improved infrastructure.
Tavel Accra, a pig farmer, sought the assistance of the Minister with the rehabilitation of the middle walk and a bridge that seemingly connects the residential area to the backlands.
“I think this bridge is very important. As a farmer, I buy like 200 bags of feed. When the truck came the other day, it had to turn back because it can’t come in this part and the bridge cannot take the weight of the truck. So its production cost going up as a farmer. We’d also like for the machine to keep helping us with the land clearing because we have farmers who’d like to expand,” Mr. Accra said.
Godfrey Henry, another farmer said that he was happy that the Minister kept his promise of assisting farmers in the area. He also appealed to the Minister to have the Nabaclis pump restored.
“Minister, I’m very happy. During the last meeting when I made my presentation, I asked the Minister, on his next visit, he must come to the backdam. Mr. Minister, I’m happy to see that you fulfilled that commitment. I’d made a request, and I’m happy to remind you. I’m happy that we got the pump. It is going to be used to do whatever it can. I’m asking that in your 2022 budget, kindly give us back the Nabaclis pump. That pump, which is on the east sideline dam, was the major pump that drained this entire area,” Mr. Henry said.
Residents also asked the Minister to engage the Minister of Public Works and have him conduct a site visit to assess the state of the roads in the area.
After listening to the farmers’ requests, Minister Mustapha invited them to visit his office to discuss all the agriculture needs in the community so that a work program can be developed. He also told residents that he was committed to working with the various interest groups in the villages to improve their agriculture economy.
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