“Dull Christmas for us” – rice farmers

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Over 300 rice farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and from the island of Wakenaam in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) flocked the gate of the Hack Rice Mill in Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast demanding their payments.

Farmers are concerned over the long delay in receiving payment from millers for paddy purchased since September and some even earlier this year.  After a commotion erupted in front of the main gate of the rice factory, its management was forced to meet with the frustrated rice farmers.

Rice farmers waiting outside the Hack Rice Mill in Golden Fleece, Essequibo Coast for payment

According to the farmers, they were there as early as 06:00h on Friday and were trying to get the attention of senior management of the rice complex but no one was willing to speak with them. One farmer said the group decided to protest and make noise outside the entity as they demanded to see the manager for their payments.

The owed farmers said the manger eventually met with them and agreed to give them payments between $50,000 and $100,000 until full payments are available.

The farmers said they have their monthly bank installment to meet and the cash given to them in some cases cannot even meet the required payment.

Speaking with <<<<Inews>>>>, a mother who was also outside the factory protesting, said it is not easy for her to financially manage her home. She said she has to finance her children’s education, which is a very expensive exercise. One is at one the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE), one is at the University of Guyana, and the other is writing the Caribbean Examination Council next year.

Some of the other women who were also on the protest line said they are single parents and are depending only on their meagre earnings from the rice industry for their survival.  “It will be a dull, dull Christmas for us,” one woman said.

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