–among projects to be rolled out with award of $1.1B in contracts
IN keeping with the government’s developmental agenda for the agriculture sector, several agencies attached to the Ministry of Agriculture today signed contracts totalling some $1.1 billion.
A total of 24 contracts were signed for the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, the supply of machinery, materials, and equipment, as well as for the provision of services.
Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, noted that the ministry was moving apace with all planned projects for the year, especially in the sectors where contracts were signed for work to commence.
The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) signed several contracts totalling in excess of $535.4 million for procuring materials and equipment as part of the government’s efforts to revitalise the industry.
Minister Mustapha said that works are ongoing and that the Rose Hall estate is expected to be operable in time for the second crop of 2023.
“For GuySuCo, these projects are very critical because we are restructuring and rebuilding. This year we are hoping that the Rose Hall estate will be operable in time for the second crop and they are a number of projects that are earmarked for Albion, Rose Hall, Blairmont, and Uitvlugt. Due to the 2021 flood, GuySuCo was unable to achieve its target. Based on the information provided by the management of GuySuCo, we are on track to achieve our target of 60,000 tons which was set for 2023,” the minister explained.
The minister also spoke about the work that was being done to strengthen the country’s drainage capacity. With Guyana’s coast being under sea level, Minister Mustapha said that the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority would be constructing several pump stations to boost the country’s drainage capacities.
“This year we’ll be building a number of pump stations across the country; an additional four pump stations. Those contracts will be signed sometime in the near future.
We also have approximately six pump stations that are expected to be completed in the coming months. With the effects of climate change becoming more real, we have to ensure our farmers are safeguarded against flooding. A lot of rehabilitation of access dams, and upgrades to drainage and irrigation canals in cultivation areas across the country will also be done throughout the year, so those contracts will also be signed in the coming months,”
Mustapha noted that big plans are on the horizon regarding the county’s aquaculture sector. He noted that, in 2022, the Fisheries Department embarked on several infrastructural upgrades to landing sites across the country.
“The President visited a number of those landing sites and committed to enhancing the facilities with lights, sheds, and washroom facilities. So far, we’ve done rehabilitation work at approximately 75 landing sites around the country. Those efforts will continue this year in areas like Anna Regina,” he explained.
The Fisheries Department signed contracts totalling over $13 million for infrastructural upgrades to the Satyadeow Sawh Aquaculture Station at Mon Repos on the East Coast of Demerara and the office in Anna Regina.
The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) signed several contracts totalling some $510,774,840 for constructing and rehabilitating structures and machinery.
New Guyana Marketing Corporation signed a contract for providing security services totalling some $41,425,092, while the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary Agriculture Development Authority (MMA-ADA) signed a contract for the supply and delivery of crusher run to the tune of $26,971,000.