8,000 fisherfolk registered for $150,000 cash grant
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Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha

— $300M for rehabilitation of fishing wharfs across the country

SOME 8,000 fisherfolk have registered to receive the $150,000 one-off cash grant that was announced by President, Dr Irfaan Ali in June of this year.
That was according to Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, who, on Monday, during the 49th sitting of the National Assembly, said that the distribution of the grant will soon commence.

“Every fisherfolk in this country will be receiving, shortly, $150,000 from the Government of Guyana. Approximately 8,000 persons registered already,” Mustapha said while responding to questions in the Assembly.

He noted that a list had been curated and final logistics were being sorted out to make a submission to the Ministry of Finance to commence the distribution.
“Hopefully, by the end of this week we can have a final list to send to the Minister of Finance for the money to be paid to the fisherfolk,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the minister also disclosed that some $300M will go towards the rehabilitation of a number of landing sites where fisherfolk dock their boats and offload their catch.
“We have 72 landing sites in the country and many of those landing sites need a lot of work to be done for example proper lights, wharfage and other infrastructure. So, what we will be doing at all the 72 landing sites around the country we will be installing lights. We will be installing proper walkways, we will be installing better condition so our fisherfolk can have easier access to when they come out there they can take out their catch. This money here will rehabilitate and improve these landing sites around the country,” the minister said.

Some three weeks ago, President Ali, along with Minister Mustapha, visited the Meadow Bank Wharf to listen to the concerns of fisherfolk.
In June of this year, President Ali, during a public meeting at Windsor Forest on the West Coast of Demerara, announced that fisherfolk will be the beneficiaries of a one-off grant of $150,000.

President Ali noted that, after the Government did a complete assessment of its revenue streams and finances, it determined that the $150,000 grant will be issued to the fisherfolk.
“We are announcing an initiative for every single person identified; we are going to help you with a one-off grant of $150,000. This is an immediate step that we are taking to assist you, in addition to all that we’re doing to expand the industry,” President Ali said.

The President noted that the grant for the fisherfolk ties in with the Government’s commitment to increase support for the agriculture community, as Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean strive to increase the production of food commodities, in keeping with the ‘Vision 25 by 25’ target.

“Our goal is to create the system in which we can increase productivity; we’re working to make Guyana an important part of the food supply to help the whole Caribbean. To do this, we have to invest in every sector and every segment, in developing our productive capacity; that is why we are addressing, today, our fishing industry specifically,” the President had said.

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