SOME 7,500 fisherfolks have received the $150,000 one-off cash grant that was announced by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali in June of this year.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, in an invited comment on Wednesday, said the distribution exercise has been successful thus far.
The distribution exercise started in September this year, following a vigorous verification exercise to ensure transparency.
Funds have been distributed to fisherfolks in regions Two, Three, Four, Five and Six.
Additionally, Minister Mustapha had said that some $300 million will go towards the rehabilitation of a number of landing sites where fisherfolks 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.
In June of this year, President Ali, during a public meeting at Windsor Forest on the West Coast of Demerara, had announced that fisherfolks 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 was determined that the $150,000 grant will be issued to fisherfolks.
“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,” Dr. Ali said.