Rice farmers in Region Three (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara) are currently battling to save their crops which are being adversely affected by the dry season period and lack of access to water.
Scores of those affected turned up at the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Office on Monday morning to air their complaints and seek the assistance of the relevant authorities so as to secure the badly needed water for their rice fields.
Vice Chairman of the RDC, Sheik Ayube, told INews that presently the rice crops in the West Demerara area are ‘endangered’ because the rice fields do not have an ‘adequate’ supply of water.
This in turn has resulted in rice and paddy burning in the fields, and adding to the woes of the rice farmers who are now literally watching their produce ‘go up in flames’.
“They need the Minister of Agriculture to intervene. You have to pump water from a place called Two Mouth, which is going up to Bonisika Creek into the Boerasirie. When you do that, the water level will raise and then the farmers will be able to have access to water,” the Regional Vice Chairman stated.
Ayube pointed out that should the rice farmers in Region Three lose their crop, this will certainly have a negative impact on both consumers locally and Guyana’s economy.
“This will cause the rise of rice prices on the local market. So we are asking the minister to address this issue urgently so that we can save this crop and, in doing so, the farmers will not incur a loss and at the same time we would stabilize the price of rice in Guyana,” Ayube posited. (Kristen Macklingam)