Region Two rice farmers to get assistance after harvest destroyed by rain
Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha on Monday said the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) will be engaged today to provide assistance to flood affected rice farmers living in Maria Lodge, Essequibo, Region Two.
Over 25 rice farmers are unable to reap their harvest of 120 acres of rice due to heavy rainfall that flooded their rice fields. The inclement weather has also damaged the road leading to the rice fields, preventing the harvester, or combine, to provide transportation.
As such, the farmers on Sunday pleaded for assistance from the government.
“I am looking at that issue. I will be speaking to Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) to see how we can help [and] to see what assistance I can give,” Mustapha told the News Room on Monday.
In November, 2022 the government promised to expend an estimated $15 million to rehabilitate small machinery and develop farmlands in Region Two.
This was expected to significantly improve drainage for some 8,000 acres of rice lands on the Essequibo Coast.
The Minister explained that the National Irrigation and Drainage Authority (NDIA) was overseeing this project with some $15 million set aside for the project.
Additionally, the numerous measures to prevent flooding and other challenges these farmers are burdened with include the purchase of a pontoon, ongoing block drainage, provision of excavators and dredging of the Pomeroon River.
Dredging of the Pomeroon River is also being done to improve economic activity and provide better drainage.