Cash Crop Farmers protest against proposed repossession of lands by REO
Several farmers in region five are calling on the government to intervene in actions being taken by the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Five to prohibit them from accessing state lands.
The REO has allegedly used his office to repossess state lands that a group of famers have been occupying for several years. Following the receipt of a notice from the REO, the farmers staged a picketing exercise outside the Ministry of Agriculture on Tuesday.
The farmers from Bath Settlement and Hopetown, Berbice said they were allowed by the Mahaica /Mahaicony/ Abary/Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA) for the last 27 years to utilize the land to plant various cash crops. This they said is their only means of providing for their families.
The farmers have until the next three months to work the lands before it is reclaimed by the Regional Authority.
According to the concerned group, they strongly believe that the REO wants the 200 acres of land for his personal farming project.
One farmer also expressed his concern over the move since he was recently awarded a grant by the Ministry of Business in support of his farming activities just last year.
The Region Five farmers are hoping that their picketing demonstration would bring attention to the matter and even get the intervention of the Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder and President, David Granger.
The farmers feel as if they are being victimized since they do not make much from cash crop farming but enough to survive.