Rice farmers seeking assistance to have canal cleared
By Malisa Playter Harry
Rice Farmers of the Youth Farmers Association in Berbice are calling on the Ministry of Agriculture to assist with the clearing of a canal located at the number 52 village to drain water off their rice lands.
During a meeting with Prime Minister’s representative of the region Mr. Gobin Harbhajan along with the CEO of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority Mr. Fredrick Flatts, the farmers noted that their rice lands are being severely impacted by the clogged canal.
The issue of the canal being clogged affected farmers in planting the last rice crop as the canal coupled with the inclement weather resulted in the water being trapped on the land.
News Room spoke to Harbhajan who explained that “prior to this, they use to drain the water in the Canje Creek but there was some uproar with residence in Baracara because the chemical from the rice is going in there and because of that there was a little battle”.
The Prime Minister’s representative stated that the group of rice farmers consisting of thirty (30) persons ventured to the No 52 Backlands aka Skeel in 2010 where they invested their own money amounting to $8.5 Million each to transform the area which was once “bushy” to be used for rice cultivation. The investment totalled to some $255 Million.
The canal which the farmers are seeking to be resuscitated is approximately 12,000 Meters equivalent to 39,000 Ft.
The NDIA CEO Mr. Flatts promised to look into the situation and provide them with the solution they are seeking.
Mr. Harbhajan also stated that he will be writing a letter to the Minister of Agriculture to assist.