Agri. Minister hosts massive community outreach in Region Six
- NIS, land matters also raised
Hundreds of residents from several villages in Region Six turned up to have issues affecting them addressed when Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha hosted a community outreach at the Albion Community Centre Ground.
The day’s proceedings saw persons with longstanding agriculture, land, water, insurance and other issues meeting with the Minister for assistance in resolving them.
Many persons, most of whom said they have experienced the royal run-around for a number of years, were seen leaving the meeting with smiles on their faces.
Mr. Latchman Mohaan, a past worker of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) said after working at the Corporation for 22 years, he is now having challenges obtaining his benefits.
“When I went to NIS, they said that my contributions are short. I worked hard for 22 years. I am an old man now and I need my money. Mr. Minister I need your help. My wife is not working and is me and she alone. I see you helping people all over the country so I come here for some help,” he said.
Ms. Kamroon Razack, a 66-year-old resident, said that for years she’s been seeking help, but never got any assistance.
“The drains in my area need digging. I’m glad the Minister came here today so that he could help me. He told the people from NDIA and the Region will come and do some work in the area so I’m looking out for the help,” she said.
Mr. Parmanand Ontar, 40, from Fyrish, said that he had been going to the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GL&SC) for years after paying for his transport, to no avail.
“Almost seven years I pay for this land and I have not received a transport. I have my agreement of sale and all my receipts, so I’m here today to see the Minister to see if he can help me because every time I call, they can never give me a straight answer,” Mr. Ontar said.
Ms. Mariana Stewart, a single mother of five, said she was pleased with her interaction with the Minister after trying to get some assistance with her farm for years.
“I am from New Amsterdam and when I saw that the Minister was having this outreach I decided to come. I have a small farm that feeds me and my five children. I usually plant and sell greens. I have a few chickens too. I would just like a little help on my farm because many of my chickens died and I don’t know why. The Minister immediately told the extension officers to visit my farm to see why my chickens died. They said that they would come on Monday so my trip was worth it,” Ms. Stewart said.
Mr. Irvin Shepherd, a farmer from Stanleytown experienced a similar loss on his cattle farm.
“All my cow dem die out from rabies so I’d like for some help to get myself going again. I also sell coconut oil, crab oil and press oil but it gets rancid fast so I’d like some advice on how I could get the oil dem to last longer. Minister I commended you. You are the only Minister I heard say you are going to do something with the Second Phase of MMA. I heard the President say that he will transform the sector and I know that things will happen now. All the time, all we had was promises and now we are seeing thing happening,” Mr. Shepherd said.
Many persons who attended the outreach commended the Minister and the Government for their proactive approach to dealing with issues across the country so far. Citizens complained that over the past five years, most of the challenges hampering their livelihoods were not addressed after several failed attempts were made to meet with Government officials under the previous administration.
Since taking office, the PPP/C Government Ministers have continued to engage residents across the country at massive community outreaches, in an effort to address the backlog of matters affecting them.
Minister Mustapha said the outreaches are a testament to Government’s commitment to meeting with citizens.
“While on the campaign trail, persons expressed their dissatisfaction with the way the country was being run. One of the commitments we made during the elections process was to meet with citizens and have their issues addressed as soon as they took office. Every week Ministers are out in different communities meeting with people. You know we are dealing with Budget 2021, but we understand that these engagements are important and have to continue,” he said.
The Minister also said that GuySuCo is now working with the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) to resolve the many issues relating to workers contributions. He urged GuySuCo monitor workers’ contributions before they reach the age of retirement.
Minister Mustapha was accompanied by senior officials from the Ministry, Regional Officials and officers from Lands and Surveys and the NIS. (Extracted and modified from the Department of Public Information)