Cash crop, rice and livestock farmers from Region Five again benefited from assistance from the agriculture ministry at a distribution exercise hosted on Monday.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud met with farmers at the Bush Lot Secondary School where the exercise was held. Farmers received seeds and vouchers that would be redeemed for seed paddy at the Burma Rice Research Station and for fertiliser.
Farmers who lost 100 acres under rice cultivation were entitled to 30 bags of seed paddy, while those who lost 200 and 400 acres were entitled to 40 and 60 bags of seed paddy respectively. The subsidy on the fertiliser is equivalent to 53% of the cost of one bag of fertiliser which can now be obtained at a price of $4,000, the release said. Earlier they had received rice bran, vouchers for chicks and ducklings and permits to collect molasses from the Blairmont estate free of cost.
Additionally, bids for the three options of clearing the mouth of the Abary River: agitating the accumulated material, excavating and depositing it on the river banks and excavating the material and moving it away were received. The bids ranged from $11.6M to $107M. According to GINA suggestions that had been made to improve the drainage and irrigation infrastructure at a previous meeting at Onverwagt were submitted to an engineer to establish their feasibility.
The engineer had reportedly submitted a report to the minister which will be given to farmers for their input before any options are considered.