Over 100 Region Five farmers receive leases for agricultural lands
After decades of waiting, over 100 farmers in Region Five (Mahaica – Berbice) on Wednesday received leases for agricultural lands from the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA).
During an interview with the News Room on Wednesday at the MMA-ADA Open Day which was held at its Onverwagt, Region Five office, General Manager of the MMA-ADA Mahendranauth Ramjit said 128 leases for cattle rearing, rice farming, and cash crop farming were distributed.
“Farmers now have ownership of rights to the land. They can invest, they can go to any banking institution and invest, develop their farming, modernize their farm,” Ramjit said.
He noted that by receiving the leases, farmers will be able to generate more income through borrowing and financing. Financial institutions and agricultural agencies were at the open day to assist with information on how farmers can do so.
“There are alot of information which can be communicated to farmers, especially having their lease now, there are lending institutions right here – they can consult on financing and modernizing their farm,” Ramjit said.
Fifty Nine-year-old Dianna Mohabir has been waiting since 1979 for her lease. She said she feels “blessed” and “happy” to finally receive her lease. She thanked President Dr. Irfaan Ali and the staff of the MMA-ADA for making her dreams a possibility.
Meanwhile, 68-year-old Macford Ross expressed that he too was “happy” to receive his lease as he will now be able to rent his land after not being able to continue farming due to old age.
21-year-old Vevekeanand Ramnarance was one of the young farmers who received his lease after applying over three years ago for it. Now that he has his lease, he plans to join his father in the rice farming business.
“I’m glad I didn’t have to go through what happened to a lot of people, which is they been waiting since the seventies. I’m glad that the administration really delivered on their promise of making the process speedy,” Ramnarance said.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha also attended the open day where he underscored the importance of agriculture in the Caribbean region for food security and pledged the government’s support to assist farmers nationwide.
“There are lot of opportunities in the Region now to supply fresh fruits and vegetables and Guyanese produce. There are new markets we are finding for the rice farmers. There are lots of opportunities in the Caribbean for poultry products and meat products,” Mustapha said.
“We as a government, we will provide all the necessary infrastructure, all the necessary support so that you can produce. We will give you all the support that’s needed,” he added.