FAO pumps millions of dollars into flood-relief initiative
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
(From left) Livestock farmer, Bibi Waheeda Hamid; FAO’s resident representative, Dr. Gillian Smith; Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha; and Head of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) Dwight Walrond at the handing over and launch ceremony of FAO’s emergency flood-response project
(From left) Livestock farmer, Bibi Waheeda Hamid; FAO’s resident representative, Dr. Gillian Smith; Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha; and Head of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) Dwight Walrond at the handing over and launch ceremony of FAO’s emergency flood-response project

–funds to benefit small-scale farmers

SEVERAL small-scale farmers across Guyana will soon benefit from a series of agriculture and livestock inputs and disaster risk management training under the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s emergency flood-response project.

The project, “Emergency Response and Early Recovery Support to Smallholder Farmers Affected by the 2021 Floods in Guyana and Suriname”, which was officially launched on Tuesday in the Ministry of Agriculture’s Boardroom, will see livestock medications, seeds, planting materials, and fertilisers being supplied to farmers. This aspect of the project will be done at a total cost of US$136,000 (G$28.1 million).

Further, US$29,000 (G$6 million) will be spent on capacity building exercises among farmers and technical staff of the ministry to reduce the vulnerability of farming communities, provide the necessary support to farming businesses, and reduce the increasing threat on the nation’s food security.

Speaking further on the project, Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha said that his ministry will continue to advance the agriculture sector through investments in drainage and irrigation and climate-resilient crops and livestock practices.

“In Guyana, we recognise the effects of climate change on our agriculture sector, and, subsequently, the livelihoods of our farmers, especially vulnerable smallholder farmers. We recognise the essential role that our smallholder farmers play in supply chains and food systems,” Minister Mustapha said.

He further related that farmers are a key aspect of agricultural development in Guyana and the country’s overall economy, noting: “We take pride in our efforts and achievements in supporting our local farmers for their economic advancement and resilience for the advancement of our agriculture sector, and the achievement of food security in Guyana.”

He further expressed his gratitude to the organisation for the support given to local smallholder farmers, especially at a time when many of them are grappling with the effects of the 2021 floods, coupled with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on the agriculture sector.

FAO resident representative Dr. Gillian Smith said that the project will equip the farmers with much-needed training in disaster risk management and flood recovery response.

She further said that the project will be a boost to the government’s ongoing efforts, which has so far seen over 50,000 farmers receiving assistance in the form of cash grants.

This aspect of the project is expected to last approximately six months, and farmers from Regions Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam), Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Five (Mahaica-Berbice), Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) will undergo training, and receive planting materials and equipment in preparation for their return to the fields.

Livestock farmer Bibi Waheeda Hamid, of Rosignol, West Coast Berbice, is one of the many beneficiaries of the project.
Hamid related to the Guyana Chronicle that when last year’s May-June rainy season hit, her life was left in shambles, as she watched her livelihood wash away right before her eyes.

The woman said that she was uncertain of her next move, since she had lost the source of her income. But with the FAO’s support, Hamid and many others like herself will now be able to rebuild their lives.

Another beneficiary, Neville Ramadar, of Cove and John, East Coast Demerara, said that he, too, suffered a grave loss during the floods. Ramadar said that he lost over 10 acres of rice, and all of his cash crops due to flooding.
However, as the project takes shape, Ramadar will return to the fields, in the hope of ramping up production.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on google
Google+
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on google
Share on whatsapp
Scroll to Top
All our printed editions are available online
emblem3
Subscribe to the Guyana Chronicle.
Sign up to receive news and updates.
We respect your privacy.