Ministry of Agriculture has not identified soil problem

Dear Editor,

The Ministry of Agriculture continues to be clueless about how to solve a mystery soil disease affecting my vegetable crops on my residential plot of land at Suddie, Essequbo Coast.

Although the cultivation is not done on a commercial scale the alarming death rate of plants discourages further planting, and it was for this reason technical assistance was considered necessary to determine the cause of the problem and suggest possible treatment.

During last year as well as the present one several official requests in writing were made by me to headquarters in the city and judging from the dormant stance being taken,  it would seem that the situation is beyond the control of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Not even for the sake of courtesy was there an acknowledgement to my registered letters.

Be that as it may be, the ministry has an obligation as a duty and not a favour to inform me whether or not the disease can be detected and moreso to offer information about treatment.

The symptoms clearly show that a parasite in the soil is eating away the bark of the plants at any stage, even at the time of bearing below ground level.

As soon as this happens, the leaves begin to wither with every plant so affected succumbing. This only increases my losses in terms of the labour invested and the use of expensive drugs not helpful to the situation.

Since there is nothing to hide, the ministry should come clean and make it known whether or not any possible help could be given so that a decision could be made one way or the other. It grieves me very much to divorce myself from planting through no fault of my own.

Several other vegetable farmers from the Region 2 have indicated to me they are faced with the same problem which they do not know how to get solved.

 

Yours faithfully,
Baliram Persaud

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