An estimated 300 acres of rice has been lost in Region Six, Berbice as a result of the dry prevailing conditions and lack of water and a further 500 acres are under threat.
This is according to Regional Chairman David Armogan.
“If the rice doesn’t have water in time to grow, it burns out. That has been caused because we had about five days during which the pumps were shut down as a result of not being able to get fuel for these pumps. Since then the problem has resolved itself,” he said.
On the Corentyne, the “front lands” must wait until farmers in the Black Bush Polder would have taken in water into their fields before enough is available in the canals reach the front lands, he said.
While this is not the first time the situation has occurred, Armogan noted that the administration had started pumping water early so that by the time those farmers in the Black Bush Polder would have had had enough water, it will still be able to get to the front lands in time.
However, the fuel shortage affected that plan. Armogan noted that plan “B” has now kicked in.
“We have started to shut down certain areas and we have started to supply the areas where there is a problem. In the Yakasary South area the water has started to raise there so they should be okay by tomorrow, the 51/Goodhope area as well and the Adventure/Eversham area. That is the most affected area,” Armogan explained.
Apart from Berbice, reports coming out of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) have spelled trouble for rice farmers.
In fact, the Chairman of the Region, Davanand Ramdatt on Monday visited rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast, accompanied by Regional Vice Chairman, Nandranie Coonjah when they realised that thousands of acres of rice are under threat due to lack of water in the conservancy.
Meanwhile, the Hydromet office has since predicted normal rainfall by April.
This was related to this publication by a senior meteorologist attached to the Hydromet office, a division within the Agriculture Ministry.