Essequibo rice farmers plead for assistance after bad weather destroys harvest

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Rice farmers living in Maria Lodge, Essequibo, are unable to reap their harvest due to heavy rainfall that flooded their rice fields.

Over 25 rice farmers are unable to reap 120 acres of rice.

The inclement weather has also damaged the road leading to the rice fields, preventing the harvester or combine to provide transportation.

The rice farmers are pleading for assistance from the government and are claiming thousands of dollars in losses.

Indar Dyal, a rice farmer for over 30 years, said that his 12 acres of rice fields are completely destroyed.

“I don’t know what else to do but to call on the Minister of Agriculture to help us. I am renting 12 acres. I have loans to pay and it’s really hard on me,” Dyal told the News Room on Sunday.

A rice field in Maria Lodge (Photo: News Room/January 8, 2022)

Another rice farmer, Gopaul Boodhoo, related that he is a father of two and is currently leasing lands. He, too, has loans to pay.
According to him, he cultivated 21 acres and was unable to reap his harvest due to the bad weather.

Meanwhile, 57-year-old Puran Mandoe is also facing similar difficulties.

His 53 acres of rice were also damaged.

“I have to survive. This never happened to us. It’s really sad and I have bills to meet. I will like theministerr and the President to help us, we need cash, we need money to go back in the fields,” Mandoe related.

The farmers, on average, require $65,000 per acre to re-enter their fields.

The matter was reported to the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), but to date, the rice farmers said they have not received a response.

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