Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud on Saturday commissioned an all-weather road at Airy Hall, Essequibo Coast.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release the road was built at a cost of $22M under a sub-project of the Poor Rural Communities Support Services Project (PRCSSP) under which about $107M was spent to upgrade 5,900 rods of drainage canals, build 17 water structures and five green-heart revetments at the Riverstown/ Onderneeming Water Users Association. Construction of the road started in August 2006 and was completed last month. Twenty sub-projects were carried out under the PRCSSP in the region at various locations to aid agricultural development. The minister said the PRCSSP will be completed this year and urged beneficiaries to maintain the projects to ensure continued growth.
Persaud said negotiations with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for a similar project are nearing completion. IFAD was one of the agencies that supported the PRCSSP. However, unlike the PRCSSP, this initiative will be implemented in all agricultural areas on the coastland and it is expected to cost US$6M. This project will complement a larger agricultural project being negotiated with the Inter-American Development Bank.
Region Two Chairman Ali Baksh said new lands were opened in the Supenaam Creek and at Fear Not/Zorg and storage and drying floors were built at Unu Creek and Better Success under the PRCSSP. Multi-purpose centres were also built at Maria’s Lodge, Siriki and Johanna Cecilia which Baksh said will improve production and shore up the activities of agriculture stakeholders – from farmers to fishermen – and will support women’s development as well.
Rice farmer Afman Ali Nazir said he is grateful for the PRCSSP particularly the construction of the road. He said it has improved residents’ quality of life and offers commercial transportation to the community thereby allowing farmers to take their paddy to the mills.