Gov’t to invest in more drainage equipment – Minister Ramsammy tells rice farmers at field day
Georgetown, GINA. The Ministry of Agriculture is working in the Mahaica/Mahaicony area to install at least two more drainage pumps to support farmers, as it continues to improve drainage capacity in Regions Four and Five.
Agriculture Minister Dr Leslie Ramsammy told rice farmers drawn from Regions Two, Three, Four and Five gathered at Supply, Mahaica for a farmers’ field day today, of the Government’s interest in ensuring that farmers continue producing optimally.
The exercise is a collaborative venture among the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Guyana Rice Producers’ Association (RPA) and farmers. The exercise is part of GRDB’s organised research program initiated to allow the farmers from the various regions the opportunity to obtain the most premium out of their land.
Dr Ramsammy stated that on the East Coast much focus is on drainage, and a lot of work is being done in Region 5 as well and, promised to continue visiting farmers and working with them so as to respond in a timely manner to their issues.
“The number one problem that farmers are having is with the dams. I believe that Government will have to invest more money on equipment such as bulldozers and graders so while the focus was on pumps and so on we now have to focus on getting more excavators, bulldozers and graders so we could keep the dams better and canals cleaner so we can continue to grow this industry,” Minister Ramsammy said.
He said, however, that at the end of the day, Government and the farmers will have to work together to make this happen.
“Farmers have done an excellent job in Guyana, we have seen increasing yields and we have the potential to increase yields further but, we have many challenges, climate change will continue to impact on us,’ he stated.
Last year Guyana exported more that 300,000 tonnes of rice and got a good price for its product.
The 2012Mid Year Report released recently stated that rice production expanded by 1.4% to 210,395 tonnes with export earnings amounting to US$84.6M.
Farmers were able to have firsthand experience of the new improved six-point practice being used on Parsaram Persaud’s plot. They made observations, shared their views and exchanged ideas.
Parsaram said that the six- point practice is a good initiative since he would have been reaping a larger quantity of rice than he did previously.
The farmers also had the opportunity to raise their concerns and challenges they would have been facing, but said that the new practice has been of good use to them.
RPA President Dharamkumar Seeraj who was also present at the activity addressed farmers issues raised.
The six improved crop management practices cater for the date of planting, density of plants, treatment of seeds, weed control, fertilization and water management.
In March, farmers of rice farming communities in Regions 2, 3 and 4 were provided the opportunity to interact and share their knowledge and experience at a similar exercise in Wakenaam, Region Three.
The Field days are aimed at bringing new, improved and relevant technologies to the farmers in order for them to increase their productivity.