Residents at one of the meetings which the minister held on Saturday last.
The Ministry of Agriculture along with the various departments within that ministry met with residents and farmers of Manchester, Hogtown and Albion on the Corentyne on Saturday where a number of age-old issues affecting them were raised.
At the first meeting which was held at the Manchester Nursery School on the Corentyne, one farmer, Raymond Campbell noted that as farmers they have been experiencing a number of challenges in the area, among them; deplorable dams farmers have to use to transport their produce.
He is suggested that Government explore the possibility of constructing a portion of the dam in asphalt that can also be used to dry paddy during cultivation.
“And when we bring we paddy we can also use the trucks to go at that area to collect the paddy on that piece, we just need that and right now the situation with the dams in the area we need some help with that” Campbell added.
Rice and Cashcrop farmer Paul Tyndall applauded the work of the ministry stating that since the now Agri Minister left his previous post as regional chairman for Region 6, several areas have not been receiving the kind of support needed.
“Since you left this region it never get back good as it relates to farming since then, I go several times, you know leave my job and go and meet people who I think would render assistance but nobody is there to render assistance, all what they give us is just promise and because of promise as a rice farmer I fell right down to my face because we aint got proper drainage and irrigation”
Among the other issues raised by farmers and residents were the need for better roads in Fyrish on the Corentyne and the clearing of the outfall channels, the provision of the extension services to farmers and residents that are being offered by the ministry, the condition of D&I structures in the various communities and the slough fullness to address issues by some officers attached to the Ministry of Agriculture.
While responding to the issues, the Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha instructed staff of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority to send up an engineer this week to do a total assessment of the D&I system in the Manchester area with a view of determining what needs to be done.
An excavator will also be sent into the area by the minister to do all the D&I work as well as to work on the dams.
“So that farmers could get access to their cultivation and also I will be looking at some critical D&I structure, those sluices, small sluices within the community, of course after the budget we will do a lot more works in the area, a lot of cash crop farmers and livestock farmers are living in that community and I intend to assist them in getting their infrastructure in place”
Meanwhile a small mini excavator will be dispatched to do work on the entire drainage system in the Fryrish area.
Additionally, the NDIA will be sending two excavators on pontoons to enlarge the outfall channels at Fyrish so that fishermen can get proper access to moor their fishing vessels.Works are also expected on the access dam for fishermen.
At the minister’s finals stop at Albion, no major issues were raised.