President Irfan Ali On Friday handed over five ‘Jacto cannon sprayer,’ to the farmers of Region Two, in response to reports of heavy paddy bug infestations. The handing over was done at the Rice Producers’ Association, Anna Regina, as the President commenced a two-day Cabinet Outreach in Region Two.
Based on reports reaching the Big Smith News Watch, paddy bug infestation has been the biggest issue, which has been plaguing the region’s rice industry for the past three years. President Ali told farmers that the five cannons, were procured at a cost of over $6 Million.
Reports are that the cannons were recommended by farmers on the Essequibo Coast, during a meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, earlier this year. The cannons, which are the J400 series, can carry a capacity of 105 gallons of chemical, and can achieve spray swaths up to 80ft.
During the meeting earlier this morning, farmers expressed their appreciation for the new equipment, noting that it will tremendously aid in their fight against paddy bugs. One farmer, who had previously lost his entire crop to paddy bug infestation, said, “In 2018 the last crop, I had to burn down my whole field, because the paddy bug destroys the whole crop. If I d’ try reap it I would’ve loose… I grateful that now we can at least cover a large area so that the bugs wouldn’t get a chance to multiply.”
Reports are that the sprayers will be used by a rice farmer’s group, which has already been formed, and will be supervised by the Guyana Rice Development Board [GRDB].