Reg. 5 rice farmers decry slushy trail to farmlands

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A ten-mile stretch of road that dips well below two feet at some points has rice farmers in the Mahaica-Berbice Region up in arms.

The farmers are pleading with authorities to fix the road so they can ply their trade without the burdens of physical discomfort and added expenses.

The road is in such a dire condition that farmers have to park their vehicles up to a certain point and walk the remaining distance to their farms.

One of the farmers, Omar Ameer told News Room Tuesday that it now takes him more than two weeks to harvest crops – an activity that normally takes him four days.

The farmers are contending that even though the MMA/ADA increased the fees from $1000 to $7000 per acre, the infrastructure is not being maintained.

Omar Ameer

Ameer explained that truck drivers no longer want to travel the trail, especially during the current rainy season, because of the high risks of their vehicles being destroyed.

He along with several other farmers who were heading into their farms when News Room visited, complained that the “government want raise the fees” but they are not fixing the road.

But News Room understands that the Rice Producers Association (RPA) has encouraged rice farmers not to pay the increased fees.

As such, one rice farmer, who was terrified for his identity to be known, contended that if the farmers are not paying their dues then the authorities will not have enough money to conduct maintenance works.

Nonetheless, the farmers are pleading with the relevant authorities including central government to look into their plight and bring some relief to the rice.

RPA Representative, Mohamed Rafideen who was on the scene, used the opportunity to blame the government for the state of the road.

Mohamed Rafideen

“This [bad road] is what the government promised? Farmers are unable to take out their produce. Nobody from the government, nobody from MMA/ADA, nobody even come and give them a comforting word much less to come and help and assist,” he stated.

Efforts to make contact with the General Manager of the MMA/ADA, Aubrey Charles for a comment on the issue proved futile.

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