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Following a decision taken by cabinet on Thursday last, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) will soon receive in excess of GY $29M to commence rehabilitation works to several access dams in Regions Two, Three, Five and Six.
This is according to Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, who said that the works are considered urgent, as some 91,580 acres of rice field are currently under threat due to inaccessible dams.
“Farmers have been complaining about the current state of these dams. Due to the severity of the last rainy season, the NDIA and the various Regional Administrations were unable to carry out much needed repairs and maintenance to over 227,000 rods of access dams. Farmers will suffer millions in losses if we do not carry out these works immediately for them to be able to harvest their rice for the upcoming autumn crop,” Minister Mustapha said.
The funds will also facilitate repair to an additional 101,942 rods of dams that were damaged due to continuous use by farmers who made efforts to save their crops and recover expenses from what they could have harvested.
With fields yielding an average of 40 bags per acre, farmers are expected to harvest over 3,663,000 bags of paddy with an estimated value of GY $10.2B.
Rice remains one of Guyana’s largest export earners, grossing over US $222M in 2019.
Government is currently in the process of preparing for a four-month budget that will see the Ministry of Agriculture carrying out additional emergency works to a number of drainage and irrigation structures and access dams across the country.