Aishalton receives supplies to cushion effects of El Nino

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THE farming community of Aishalton in Region Nine, on Thursday benefited from irrigation hoses, chemicals for the eradication of acoushi ants, planting materials and dry-goods, as Government continues to provide relief for areas affected by El Nino. Other supplies including water tanks will be delivered shortly to the community for water storage.
Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud, Officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Toshao of Aishalton Hildebrand James and Deputy Toshao Kid James, conducted an interactive meeting with farmers in the community to ascertain their needs and derive possible solutions.
In light of Region 9 experiencing insufficient rainfall last year during its one rainy season there was inadequate cultivation and this occurrence is not unique to the Regions, Minister Persaud noted.
He noted that Government has expended under $500M in an extensive programme across the country to bring relief to farmers. Even though the coast is more exposed to the effects of El Nino because of competing crops and livestock, the major concern in Region 9 is food security since individuals depend on farming for a livelihood.
Minister Persaud also emphasised that Government mobilized dry food into hinterland communities and South Rupununi has been benefiting.
To combat the effects of the dry spell, Government implemented measures in Region 9 through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and the Regional Development Council. These measures saw the provision of a number of pumps for irrigation purposes which have proven beneficial in many areas.
Minister Persaud further informed the gathering that storage containers were provided so that farmers can preserve cassava and farine. In addition, cassava mills were given to the Region to boost the production of cassava bread and bring technology to the industry.
With respect to technology being implemented in the Region, the Minister noted that drip irrigation will help in the boosting of the agriculture sector in the Region.
Responding to a question posed by Kid James, with respect to the allocation – an Agricultural Science teacher in the Secondary School in Aishalton, Persaud stated that he is willing to provide personnel within three weeks but the Region will need to provide accommodation.
This will assist in developing proper agricultural practices so that the human capacity will be boosted. He further noted that the Ministry is willing to provide scholarship for students to attend the Guyana School of Agriculture.
Minister Persaud expounded on the fact that Government is working assiduously towards improving the lives of Amerindians. He noted that while there is room for improvements, significant strides have been made in developing hinterland communities.
Persaud highlighted that improvements have been made with the social sectors including health and education but Government wants to also further improve the economic wellbeing of villagers.
In an effort to boost the economic capabilities of Amerindians, Government implemented several programmes including the National Secure Livelihood Programme. This programme which focuses on agriculture diversification was done through the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs and commenced last year as a pilot project in Region One. Owing to its successful implementation, the programme is now expanding to other Regions including Region 9.
The opening of the Takutu Bridge has also provided passage for new opportunities in the Region and Government wants Aishalton and surrounding communities to be better prepared to deal with them effectively, Minister Persaud indicated.
Another avenue utilised by Government to develop the lives of Amerindians is the annual Presidential grants that are given in addition to the allocation and support received through the Region through the Ministries of Local Government and Regional Development and Amerindian Affairs. Minister Persaud noted that Presidential grant provides support for developmental projects which improve the village economies.
Minister Persaud noted that Amerindian communities and Guyana as a whole will benefit from resources derived from the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS). He further emphasised that the transformation of the economies and way of life will be done in a consultative and participatory way with democratic legitimate leaders.
In addition, the Chairperson of the National Toshao Council is currently representing the country at some important discussions with the EU in supporting and developing this framework to look at how we can further develop the LCDS, Persaud noted.
The Administration in its effort to maintain transparency and further enlighten the populace on the REDD+ will conduct more consultations across the country
“Government is hoping to commence additional consultation on the REDD+ because they were anticipating resources from the World Bank for support and some of the resources will go to the Guyana Forestry Commission and some will go to the National Toshaos’ Council,” Persaud stated. (GINA)