Corentyne farmers counting major losses as floodwaters threaten crops

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Some Corentyne, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) rice farmers are worried that they may not be able to go back into the crop as a result of the extensive flooding.

Apart from rice farmers, cash crop farmers have suffered total loses as a result of floodwaters which have hit every village on the Corentyne coast.

Heavy rainfall in March and April affected early harvesters and additional rainfall in May impacted severely on harvesting as many dams which are used to transport harvested paddy from the fields became inaccessible.

Over 95 percent of rice was however harvested.

But the yield for the last 10 per cent harvested was poor because of the heavy water in the fields.

Already 15 farmers have gone back into the crop cultivating 9,000 acres.

However, Rice producing Association (RPA) Extension Officer Ramlakhan Singh said that if the necessary steps are not taken urgently, those farmers will lose what they have already planted. That rice is under one-foot of water and according to Singh it looks as if they will all die.

He is also of the opinion that many farmers will not be able to go back into the crop because by the time the water is eventually drained off of the land, it will be too late in the year to cultivate rice, noting that if they plant too late they will not have enough time to harvest before the next rainy season.

Meanwhile cash crop farmers in the area are also suffering.

Tottaram Dass, who grows several vegetables including tomatoes, told this publication that rain had been falling on a daily basis and as a result he has lost all that he had planted.

“Seven hundred roots pepper all damage, the root get soft and they rotten.”

Dass also noted that 1100 tomato plants which were bearing have died as a result of the persistent rainfall.

However, he noted that he was able to harvest some vegetables before the plants died.

“Everything bear but we ain’t get to pick all,” he added.

Dass estimated his loses in terms of the vegetables which were on the trees at $100,000.