Zoning, extended fence proposed to address conflict between rice, livestock farmers in Reg. #6

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Rice farmers across Region Six have long complained about cattle gaining access to their farmlands and destroying their cultivation.

In response to fresh concerns raised at the weekend, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha says the Ministry will set out to ensure that there is zoning which will soon see rice and livestock farmers occupying different areas.

The ongoing issue faced by the farmers, which intensified recently, occasioned a visit by the Minister to the Corentyne Coast on Saturday. His visit was to find a resolution in the best interest of both sides.

“I am also looking at other means of resolving this issue in terms of zoning. Where we can have cattle and rice at different parts and cash crops at different parts.”

“I met with both sides and I made some proposals… the Ministry of Agriculture will also have representatives as rangers to patrol the areas so that we will not have this type of acquisition,” the Agriculture Minister said while meeting with the aggrieved parties.

Farmers from Region Six during the meeting with the officials over issues they face (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development Nigel Dharamlall and other government and regional officials were present at the meeting.

Among the proposals is for the current fence to be reinforced and extended further.

“Also, from Number 66 to Number 74 we will fence the area so that we could prevent cattle and other small ruminants from getting into the cultivating part there. From Number 52 to Number 74 will have fences to prevent animals from getting into the cultivation.” The Minister said.

He noted, however, that some persons were found breaking the fence which the ministry installed at a cost of $14 million to prevent the animals from entering the farming area.

“That doesn’t mean that people who own small ruminants should allow their animal to get into the cultivation there.”

Meanwhile, the cattle farmers complained about their animals being impounded. The minister said he will seek legal advice from the Attorney General regarding the issue and what resolution should be put in place.

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