Cash Crop farmers from Hopetown and Bath Settlement, West Coast Berbice (WCB) staged a protest in front of the Ministry of The Presidency earlier today where they made a passionate call for President David Granger to reverse a decision made by the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) to remove them from their farming area by March 2017.
The over 200 farmers who have invested millions of dollars on the land over a twenty-seven-year period will be on the breadline if the 50 acres plot of land is reclaimed.
“We are here to appeal to the President over this land at Hopetown, Bath Settlement farmers in West Berbice”, said Khrishna Seelall, a member of the farmers’ group.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Lall further stated that the farmers have been on the land for about 27 years, and were supported by the MMA, and the past and present Administrations to the extent they were provided funding to undertake projects on the land.
However, recently, the new REO at a meeting, informed the farmers that he will reclaim the land to do a mixed farming project on it and that the farmers would have to be removed by March next year.
Already a no-trespassing sign was erected on the land.
The MMA had leased the land to the RDC for 25 years,which was then increased to 50 years, but the RDC never occupied the land; instead it had given the farmers the go- ahead to cultivate it.