Hinterland to see expansion in cultivation, livestock rearing -Baksh

Cultivation of rice and soya beans as well as aquaculture and cattle rearing will be expanded in the hinterland this year, according to Junior Agriculture Minister Ali Baksh.

During his contribution to the 2013 budget debate on Thursday, Baksh said that this year’s allocation to the agricultural sector will foster growth and the hinterland communities and riverain areas will benefit greatly.

“Budget 2013 will have great impact in the hinterland communities and riverain areas with the expansion of rice cultivation, soya beans, aquaculture and cattle rearing. This will directly result in the creation of jobs to generate income…,” Baksh said.

He underscored the importance of the agricultural sector’s budget, stating that it is one which seeks to improve the lives of current farmers even as others are encouraged to enter the sector. “With the introduction of shade house and drip fertilisation on school farms, this would help to complement the governments school feeding programme by cutting cost and helping families and communities develop more rapidly,” he added.

Baksh outlined a long list of works that the budget allocation will go towards and emphasised its necessity for drainage and irrigation throughout the country. He said that over 350 farmers from Mosquito Hall to Douchfour will benefit from a pump station at Greenfield. The minister also outlined development plans and said that the Community Drainage and Irrigation Programme (CDIP) has helped some 1776 persons gain employment.

Severe silting around the sea coast and at sluices between regions 1 to 6 has resulted in the ministry planning to deploy one pontoon and two long boon excavators to each region at a budget of $100M each, Baksh said.

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