On Monday the President appointed Dr Leslie Ramsammy as the Minister of Agriculture in the newly formed cabinet, passing over Mr Dharamkumar Seeraj, the General Secretary of the Guyana Rice Producer’s Association (GRPA).
Mr Seeraj is experienced and a competent professional in the field of agriculture. He replaced the late Fazal Ally as General Secretary, being appointed by the General Council members on February 25, 2000. The 43-year-old has worked with the GRPA for 21 years where he first carried out the functions of a Field Officer and then held the position of Assistant General Secretary of the association.
Mr Seeraj has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the agriculture sector in Guyana and the rice industry in particular.
He grew up in a farming community and therefore has an appreciation for the difficulties faced by farmers. These experiences have served him well, and are evident in the very understanding and efficient manner in which he helps to solve farmers‘ problems. Mr Seeraj was the best pick to replace Mr Robert Persaud as Minister of Agriculture given his formal qualifications, his experience and his results-oriented approach to management.
Mr Seeraj holds a degree in Agriculture and attended training courses through an Agency for International Development scholarship. His executive experience is wide-ranging. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Guyana Mortgage Finance Bank, the Guyana National Co-operative Bank and the National Drainage and Irrigation Board.
Mr Seeraj has been around the sugar and rice industry all his life, and was only eighteen when he got involved with the working conditions and rights of rice farmers. Those concerns led him to active agitation for the rights of rice farmers through Guyana Rice Producer’s Association.
Those who know Mr Seeraj will tell you that he is not given to useless talk. He is a tolerant man; he is focused, disciplined, task driven and most of all, results oriented. Seeraj as he is popularly called, is one of the architects of agricultural development in Guyana, initiating new policies and programmes, supporting existing projects, and paving the way forward for the sector’s growth.